Plant Profile: Olive Tree

Plant Profile: Olive Tree

Plant Profile: Olive Tree

Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean, so they thrive in a climate where the summer is long, hot and dry and the winter is cool (they’re quite frost tolerant). Not suited to the tropics, they will grow well in temperate climates and even along coastal areas.

Their stunning silver-grey-green foliage complements many different garden designs.

Overview & Care

Official Name:
Olea europaea

Also known as:
Common Olive, European Olive

Your olive tree will need to be positioned in a spot that gets full sun for at least six hours a day, sheltered from strong winds. A north-facing spot is preferable.

Water new olive trees regularly until they’re well established. Mature trees are very drought tolerant but produce better fruit if watered.

An olive tree will be tolerant of an extensive range of soil types and does best in what could be described as poor-quality sandy or gravelly soil. It will do well in virtually any soil, growing where many other trees will not, but is intolerant of wet, cold soil.

Growing olive trees in pots
While a fully grown olive tree can reach more than 6 metres in height, young olive trees will happily thrive in a pot. Just select a large pot and fill it with a nutrient-rich potting mix.

To care for a potted indoor olive tree, top up the pot with fresh soil every couple of years and water the tree lightly but regularly.

Tip: Consider purchasing two plants and rotating them fortnightly between your chosen indoor spot (which should also receive 6 hours of direct sunlight per day) and a suitable outdoor spot to ensure their ongoing health.