En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
2 ratings

Thursday - June 09, 2005

From: Schenectady, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflowers that will grow in sandy soil in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Dear Mr. S. Pants, We live near Albany, NY in what was once a pine forest. The soil is very, very sandy. I've had some success with wildflowers but I have to use some topsoil and humus mixture to get any decent results. Are there any wildflower seeds that will grow in sandy soil?


Here is a list of plants that will grow in sandy soil, are native to New York and are commercially available. You will need to check the other growing conditions, e.g., amount of sunlight and moisture to be assured of success in growing these. On the main page for each plant, be sure to select "Growing Conditions" at the top of the page to find out more about the plant.

Bitterroot (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Scarlet Indian-paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)
Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant (Castilleja coccinea)
Lance-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Golden-wave (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Jimsonweed (Datura wrightii)
Shootingstar (Dodecatheon meadia)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)
Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)
Common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Downy phlox (Phlox pilosa)
Unicorn plant (Proboscidea louisianica)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata)
Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina)

To find a list of nurseries and seed companies in your area that might carry the seeds or plants, visit the National Suppliers Directory.

By the way, the name is Smarty Plants!

More Wildflowers Questions

What do wildflower seeds look like from Westlake Village CA
February 23, 2014 - I collect seeds from my wild flower garden but can't always tell what part of the dried flower is the actual seed that will reproduce. Is there a resource that shows the seed part of flowers? Than...
view the full question and answer

Perennial herbs and woody species for North Texas
February 17, 2009 - I have recently moved to North Texas. It would be helpful to know some hardy perennial flowers to plant. Also what types of shrubs and trees that do well in the area. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Sunlight needs for native wildflower seedlings from Double Oaks TX
January 27, 2014 - Last December I created a flower bed for my parents' backyard and sowed native wildflower seeds (obtained from Native American Seed). The bed is in full sun most of the day, and the seeds are alread...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy hedge and drought-resistant garden
July 21, 2008 - I am looking for a hardy evergreen hedge for privacy in Northern Michigan. I have sandy soil. Also am interested in planting a drought garden with mostly sun in same sandy soil.
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
January 22, 2003 - Do you have a sense of a peak viewing time for Bluebonnets for this spring?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center