Olive Trees

Care & Cultivation Guide: Olive Trees

OLEA EUROPA (Olive Tree) is a slow growing, evergreen tree and is the only species in cultivation. Small, fragrant, white or cream flowers are produced in axillary racemes from July-August, followed by fruits from September-October. The fruits are green at first, turning a brownish-black or even white when mature. Maturity may take up to a year. Olives are only hardy in milder UK locations, where they are ideally placed against a sunny sheltered wall. Alternatively, where there is risk of frost, they may be grown indoors, in a cool greenhouse or conservatory.

COMPOST: Use a loam based potting compost (such as JI3) mixed with sharp sand to aid drainage. Where grown outdoors, a deep, fertile, well-drained soil is required.

LIGHT: Olives require plenty of light, to include some full sunlight.

WATER: Water moderately, keeping the compost just moist during the growing season and more sparingly in winter.

FEEDING: Olives require a balanced liquid feed at month intervals throughout the growing season.

PRUNING: Restrictive pruning may be performed in early spring, whilst growth is dormant, in order to maintain shape and size. Any crossing or straggling shoots may be pruned back to maintain a healthy framework.

PROBLEMS: Scale insects may cause curling of leaves along the spine and they appear as dark waxy specs on the leaves mainly along the spine on the underside of the leaf but also on branches. They also produce stickiness on the leaves. The plant may be washed down with a very soapy solution taking care to gently remove all traces of pests. Compost should be covered prior to starting to prevent the pest migrating back to the tree for a second attack.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability.

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