|Latin name:||Olea europeana|
|Delivery type:||Supplied as bare-rooted stemmed plant|
|Guarantee:||6 months growth and flowering guarantee|
|Preferred location:||Sun, Half shadow|
|Leafs all year:||Yes|
|Growing Height:||20 - 30 cm|
|Planting distance:||30 - 40 cm|
Olea europaea can stay in the garden in a sheltered spot over the winter, especially if against a sunny wall. It is however ‘safer’ to have it in a large planter than you can store frost-free over the winter.
They prefer a clay, well-draining soil. Dig a large hole and improve sandy soil with some potting compost and a shovelful of clay (and improve clay soil with potting compost and a shovelful of sand).
The olive tree in a planter
This lovely plant grows well in a pot. Make sure it’s a nice big one with holes in the bottom. Use sandy soil mixed with potting compost and a shovelful of clay.
Water your olive tree regularly and fertilise only in the first half of the year (more than once each month). Use a fertiliser for fruit-bearing trees and shrubs.
If your olive is planted in the garden it can handle quite a bit of cold! Even as much as -10! Older trees even as much as -18! However, that much frost can cause damage and it does depend on whether it is a long cold period or suddenly, overnight. Do protect your olive tree from severe frost – use a reed mat or wrap it several times in garden fleece. Bubble wrap is not recommended here as that tends to generate too much warmth in the sun. Mulch the roots of the plant too.
If your olive is in a planter, just bring it under shelter when frost is forecast (shed or carport?) – dark is not a problem as Olea europaea loses its leaf in the winter anyway.
Pruning Olea europaea
Olive trees don’t actually require pruning at all but it can be done to maintain ithe shape. The best time for this is in March. Olive trees look good truncated too – this can be done annually and will be well tolerated. Olive trees never bear fruit twice on the same branch. To get the maximum harvest, you need to cut back all last year’s branches in the spring.
Olives have been cultivated for a long, long time. The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks loved them. The tree is actually originally from the Middle East. Nowadays, olive trees are grown from Afghanistan across to Portugal.
Even in northern climes, small fruits will appear and will ripen in a good summer.
Olea is classified in its own group, Oleaceae.