The elegant and handsome, evergreen olive tree (Olea europaea) retains grey-green foliage throughout the year. It displays tiny, fragrant, creamy-white flowers in early summer and - in very long, hot summers - the flowers are followed by edible green fruits, yes you guessed it... olives!
The olive tree makes an excellent specimen for a sunny, Mediterranean-style garden, and creates a real point of interest in a big terracotta pot.
We have some useful care tips below:
Olive trees enjoy basking in full sun. Ideally keep them out of cold winds. They are wonderfully hardy when well established and will be fine in all but the coldest parts of the UK.
They're not too fussy about soil type, but they do have a preference for well-drained soil.
Olive trees can be grown in pots with very good drainage, using loam-based compost with added grit. Raise pots on feet to improve the drainage in wet seasons.
Feeding throughout the growing season is essential to promote strong, healthy foliage. Apply a top-dressing of high nitrogen feed, two to three times through the growing season. Mulching with organic material is also beneficial.
Olive trees are very drought tolerant, but they still enjoy a good drink during dry periods, especially when planted in containers. Watering is especially important for newly planted, or less established trees.
Pruning is the key to keeping olive trees looking good. Prune back in late spring or early summer to promote new growth and good shape. Don't allow your olive trees to lose shape, as the foliage can become sparse.