A variety of plants thrive while growing in sandy soil, according to Birds and Blooms. Several types include the cleome, yarrow, lavender and cacti. Sand and sandy soil drain very quickly and do not retain moisture, so these plants have adapted to require less-frequent watering than plants that need loamy soil.
The cleome, a tropical native that is an annual in the garden, has tall stems that support graceful, wispy flowers in lavender, pink or white. Another plant is the Gazania daisy, which is an annual to zone 8. This plant is drought tolerant but needs plenty of sunlight. Yarrow is a hardy bloomer topped with lacy flower heads that requires full sun. Lovely Rugosa roses are hardy in zones 2 to 9, and they easily adapt to sandy soil. Lavender is an herb with graceful flower spikes that are available in pink, white and light purple varieties. This herb likes sandy soil and is suitable for zones 5 to 10.
Crape myrtle thrives in sandy conditions throughout the year in zones 7 to 9. Blanket flowers glow with cheery flowers that belie the toughness of the plant. The blanket flower grows in sandy soil and is drought tolerant, but it needs full sun to grow properly. Other plants recommended for sandy soil include the California poppy and cosmos. For a more tropical look, cacti and agave plants grow well in sand.