Sandy soil is made up of large particles of silica, quartz and other rocks. It has a very rough texture that allows many air pockets to form within the soil. This loose soil base tends to allow moisture to drain quickly and also leads to increased evaporation rates. Because sand doesn't hold moisture well, it can also be difficult for plants to access nutrients before they're washed away due to drainage [source: City of Bremerton].
Any plant that can survive in drought-like conditions can be grown successfully in sandy soil. Consider desert plants like shrubs and cacti, as well as flowering plants such as tulips and hibiscus. To improve the quality of sandy soil and expand the type of plants that can be grown in it, take steps to slow drainage and limit evaporation. Organic materials like mulch or compost can be added in with the sand to keep moisture and nutrients in place. Instead of adding large quantities of these products once a season, try adding smaller amounts more frequently to combat the quick-draining properties of the sand.