Progressive global warming is catapulting drought artists among the shrubs to the top of their esteem. An exclusive circle of hardy species and varieties masters the supreme floral discipline of thriving magnificently in the dry, sandy garden soil. We invite you to take a stroll through a selection of blooming and evergreen premium trees that endure water shortages without complaint. These 15 shrubs give dry locations and sandy soil a friendly face.

flowering shrubs

In order to produce picturesque flowers in the dry, sandy soil, shrubs with tough qualities are required. Where water is scarce, heart and deep roots primarily have the best conditions for vital growth and lavish abundance of flowers. The following shrubs transform dry locations and sandy soils into colorful islands of opulence:

Dünenrose, Bibernellrose (Rosa pimpinellifolia)

Where dry, sandy conditions dominate, the dune rose shines with royal blooms. The legendary wild rose is tough, because barren soil, prolonged drought, severe frost or strong wind do not throw the flowering shrub off course. In sandy soil, a burnet rose benefits from the fact that a deep-reaching root system guarantees stability and adequate access to groundwater.

  • Growth height: 100 to 150 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering time: May to July, second flowering possible in autumn
  • special feature: decorative rose hips as fruit decoration

Frühlingstamariske (Tamarix parviflora)

The spring tamarisk bathes meager locations in a pink sea of ​​flowers. The sprawling large shrub prefers well-drained, sandy soil and has a pronounced aversion to moist soil. The picturesque ornamental wood is very popular as privacy and wind protection in coastal regions, because one of the many properties is a reliable salt tolerance.

  • Growth height: 200 to 300 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny to semi-shady
  • Flowering period: May and June
  • special feature: yellow-red foliage in autumn

Kornelkirsche (Cornus mas)

As a pioneer tree, the local soil conditions are irrelevant to a cornelian cherry. As long as the deep heart root system is not confronted with waterlogging, the majestic shrub thrives vitally and healthily. If you struggle in the garden with dry sandy soil, the cornel is just the thing. The sunnier the location, the more magical the golden yellow spring blossoms.

  • Height of growth: 300 to 400 cm, rarely higher
  • Light conditions: sunny to shady
  • Flowering time: March and April
  • special feature: edible fruits

Broom, sand broom, dyer’s broom (Genista)

Sandgorse prefers light, sandy-dry soils. The frugal flowering shrub loves barren conditions and plenty of sun. With a leisurely growth rate of 5 centimeters per year, dyer’s broom is a useful spring fresh groundcover.

  • Growth height: 20 to 40 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering period: May and June
  • special feature: does not form thorns

Perlmuttstrauch (Kolkwitzia amabilis)

Bell-shaped, pearly flowers sparkle on elegantly arching branches. With this romantic appearance, a mother-of-pearl shrub sets the scene wherever it can stretch out its roots in permeable and poor soil. The pretty flowers give off a seductive scent of honey, which busy butterflies and bees really appreciate.

  • Growth height: 200 to 350 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny to shady
  • Flowering period: May to July
  • special feature: fluffy seeds as an autumn decoration

Sanddorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

Do you still have a sandy-gravelly niche in your garden with 4 to 6 hours of sunshine a day? Then we would like to recommend the sea buckthorn variety ‘Friesdorfer Orange’. Inconspicuous bowl blossoms in early spring mark the start of the season. Following the modest prologue, the expansive shrub boasts bright orange edible berries. Gardeners who are close to nature do not harvest all the fruit, but share the rich crops with the birds in the garden.

  • Growth height: 200 to 300 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering time: March and April
  • special feature: valuable wood for feeding birds

Sauerdorn, Berberitze (Berberis)

Sour thorn will not let its gardener down, even if the shrub is assigned a dry location. A barberry is perfect as a hedge plant to protect your privacy with a dense network of thorn-reinforced branches. Clusters of bright yellow flowers in early summer turn into bright red berries with an extra sour taste.

  • Growth height: 100 to 250 cm
  • Light conditions: semi-shady
  • Flowering period: May and June
  • special feature: yellow-orange autumn colour

Weißdorn (Crataegus)

Native hawthorn has all the attributes of a floral expert for dry, sandy soil. The shrub is tolerant of heat, lack of water, frost and strong winds. Once the deep root system is fully developed, the survivor takes care of access to water and nutrients himself. As a member of the rose family, the white, fragrant blossoms leave nothing to be desired.

  • Growth height: 200 to 500 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny to semi-shady
  • Flowering period: May to July
  • special feature: well suited as an impenetrable privacy hedge
Tip: The right watering technique supports the vital root growth of deep-rooted plants. During summer droughts, water deeply for at least half an hour two to three times a week instead of a few minutes and superficially every day. The deeper the irrigation water penetrates the soil, the stronger the rooting.

Evergreen shrubs

Evergreen shrubs guarantee privacy and decorative accents with no seasonal gaps. You don’t have to do without these advantages in the dry, sandy location. The following trees wear a green foliage all year round and show their most beautiful side even in the barren soil.

Eucalyptus, Tasmania gum (Eucalyptus gunnii)

When silvery shimmering, lanceolate leaves sway in the wind, an exotic deciduous shrub called eucalyptus has arrived in the garden. In regions with mild winters or in well-protected niches, the evergreen wood easily adapts to Central European climatic conditions. The most important prerequisites for healthy growth are at least 4 hours of sunshine a day and well-drained, sandy to dry soil, preferably with a small amount of clay.

  • Growth height: 200 to 500 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny to semi-shady
  • Flowering period: September to December
  • special feature: rapid growth

Olive tree (Olea europaea)

Its name belies the fact that the olive tree actually thrives as an imposing large shrub. The Mediterranean icon with the evergreen, leathery foliage has become at home in many gardens north of the Alps as a result of global warming. A sandy-dry, often stony soil plays a key role in successful cultivation in the bed.

  • Growth height: 400 to 600 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering time: April and May
  • special feature: needs light winter protection

Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica)

In the dry, sandy location, the classic cherry laurel hedge is lost. As a Mediterranean counterpart, the Portuguese laurel cherry is much better able to cope with the special challenges. Are you looking for an evergreen, pruning-tolerant hedge plant that will give the cold shoulder to heat and drought? Then you are on the safe side with Prunus lusitanica.

  • Growth height: 600 to 800 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny to semi-shady
  • Flowering time: June
  • special feature: hardy to – 20° Celsius
Tipp: Evergreen shrubs need regular watering throughout the year. The leaves continuously evaporate moisture. If the weather is sunny and dry in winter, without snowfall or rain, please pay a visit to the trees with a filled watering can.


Subshrubs bridge the gap between perennials and shrubs. The perennial plants gradually lignify from the base. Young greenery does not sprout from the root ball but from the renewal buds along the annual shoots. The following Mediterranean flowering shrubs in particular grow according to this principle because it is an excellent match for dry, sandy conditions.

Bearded Beard (Caryopteris clandonensis) With violet-blue umbels of flowers and Mediterranean charm, the Bearded Beard trumps at the end of summer. Although the plant name suggests otherwise, it is a woody flowering shrub. If bearded flowers are granted a sun-drenched location with sandy-dry substrate, the ornamental plants do not keep their fragrant flowers under lock and key. The two varieties ‘Kleiner Spatz’ and ‘Fontaine Blue’ have particularly distinguished themselves with an abundance of flowers.

  • Growth height: 100 to 120 cm
  • Light conditions: full sun
  • Flowering period: August and September
  • Special feature: intense floral scent

Currykraut (Helichrysum italicum)

The curry herb variety ‘Tall’ is known to hobby florists and home gardeners as a lovely helichrysum. Followers of spicy foods appreciate the subshrub as a valuable culinary herb. Less well known is the floral talent of curry herb to stylishly green lean, sandy-dry locations in the bed. Once planted, the pretty daisy family will remain loyal to you for up to 20 years, provided light winter protection wards off the bitter cold.

  • Growth height: 30 to 40 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering period: June to July
  • special feature: very durable


With lavender, Mediterranean flair will find its way into your garden. Cultivation becomes a successful horticultural project if you choose a sunny, warm location with well-drained, lean, sandy-gravelly soil. If you want a blue fairy tale, the focus is on the premium variety ‘Dwarf Blue’. White flowers present the beautiful varieties ‘Arctic Snow’ and ‘Alba’. ‘Hidcote Pink’ and ‘Rosea’ boast pink flower spikes.

  • Growth height: 20 to 50 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering period: June/July to August/September
  • special feature: excellently suited as a dried flower

Sand-Thymian (Thymus serpyllum)

Wild thyme keeps what the plant name promises. The miniature Mediterranean semi-shrub beauty wants a location with pure sun and plenty of sand. The woody kitchen herb feels in good hands in the dry zone of a herb spiral or between the natural stones of a dry wall. If you are still missing a gap filler in the gravel bed or rock garden, wild thyme is happy to help with undemanding frugality.

  • Growth height: 5 to 10 cm
  • Light conditions: sunny
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • special feature: up to 25 cm wide

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