The olive tree (Olea europaea) loves basking in full sun. Ideally, if possible, keep out of very strong winds. Olive trees are wonderfully hardy when established and will be fine in all but the coldest parts of the UK. Olive trees are not too fussy about soil types but they do have a preference for well-drained soil, making olive tree care a very easy task.
If grown in pots, olive trees are best grown with loam-based compost with added grit for drainage. Raise pots on feet to improve the drainage in wet seasons. Feeding olive trees throughout the growing season is essential to promote strong healthy foliage. Olive trees are very drought tolerant, but they still enjoy a good drink during dry periods especially when planted in containers, and even more so for less established trees.
Pruning is the key to keeping olive trees in good shape. Prune back in late spring or summer to promote new growth and good shape, and do not allow olive trees to lose shape otherwise the foliage becomes sparse.
The elegant, handsome, evergreen olive tree retains grey-green foliage throughout the year and displays tiny, fragrant, creamy white flowers in early summer, followed by (in very long hot summers) edible green fruits, yes you guessed it – Olives!
The olive tree does make an excellent specimen for a sunny, Mediterranean style garden, and creates a real point of interest in a big terracotta pot.
We have some very useful tips on olive tree care for you below:
Olive tree growing environment
Enjoys full sun, but ideally keep out of cold winds. Olive trees are wonderfully hardy when well established and will be fine in all but the coldest parts of the UK.
Best soil for olive trees
The olive tree prefers a well-drained, light, sandy soil with a slightly acidic to alkaline Ph level. If your soil is too acidic, add lime.
Best pots for olive trees
Olive trees are best grown in well drained pots using loam-based compost with added grit for drainage. Raise pots on feet to improve the drainage in wet seasons.
Feeding olive trees
Apply a top-dressing of nitrogen rich, general purpose feed 2 to 3 times through the growing season. Mulching with organic material is also beneficial.
Watering olive trees
Olive trees are very drought tolerant, but they still enjoy a good drink during dry periods, especially when planted in containers, and especially for less established trees.