Gardening Tips

Potted olive tree: care

Potted olive tree: care

The olive tree, scientific name Olea europaea, is a constant element in the landscapes of much of the Mediterranean area. However, when thinking of an olive tree, it is common to think of large trees of great antiquity, especially in the fields of agriculture and ornamental gardening.

But this is not the only option: olive trees can be grown without any problem in pots and much smaller spaces. In fact, there are those who grow them using the bonsai technique. If you want to learn the caring for a potted olive treejoin us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will see a practical guide.

Basic care of the olive tree in a pot

These are the main care of a potted olive tree:

  • Light: you have to put it in a place in full sun, because the olive tree needs a lot of light.
  • Climate: warm, especially in the early years.
  • Location: variable (exterior/interior) depending on the weather.
  • Substratum: very undemanding. All you need is good drainage.
  • Pass: an annual supply of organic fertilizer is sufficient.
  • Irrigation: scarce, but more frequent in young olive trees.

Climate and location for the potted olive tree

Olive trees are plants made to hot and sunny climates, and this is a characteristic that they maintain both planted in a pot and in the ground. Choose one sunny area of ​​your garden or interiornext to a window or balcony where it receives a good number of hours of direct sunlight per day.

Regarding the pot, the ideal is to use a sizable clay pot. Clay is heavy, but the material allows adequate breathability, helping the substrate not to accumulate too much moisture. If you live in a cold climate, you could choose a pot with wheels, since it is likely that in winter you will have to store your olive tree indoors: this tree does not tolerate frost well.

Thus, having the olive tree in a pot indoors or outdoors will basically depend on the local climate, being able to resort to one or another location, or even a combination of both depending on the season.

Potted olive tree: care - Climate and location for the potted olive tree

Substrate for the potted olive tree

These trees are not picky about soil composition or nutrients, as they are used to relatively arid areas. When preparing the substrate for the olive treejust use peat mixed with gravel or sand to make it lighter and improve its drainage, which is the only really important point in this aspect.

Use coconut fiber It will also help to give the substrate a light and drier texture, and a small contribution of earthworm humus It is not mandatory, but it will help create a richer mixture with beneficial microorganisms that will not hurt. In these other EcologíaVerde posts you can learn about Coconut fiber for plants: properties and how to make it and about How to make earthworm humus for plants.

Also, keep in mind that a bed of coarse gravel or pebbles at the bottom of the pot will help keep soil from backing out of drainage holes, as well as keep moisture further away from the roots.

Potted olive tree irrigation

How to water the potted olive tree? The olive tree hardly needs irrigation in its adult phase. In fact, it is common for adult olive trees outdoors to not be watered at all in climates where there is occasional rain. However, in his early years the olive tree will need a frequent but moderate watering. It is about giving the young tree some moisture with which it can gain strength, but always without flooding it. Exceeding this point can rot its roots or cause a fungal attack on the tree.

To get an idea of How often is a potted olive tree watered?wait until the first 3 centimeters of the substrate surface have dried.

Potted olive tree: care - Irrigation of the potted olive tree

Fertilizer for the potted olive tree

As it is not a demanding plant in terms of nutrients, it does not need regular fertilization, especially if it is an ornamental and non-productive olive tree. One subscription per year will suffice, which can be done simply by adding ecological organic fertilizer to earth to beginning of spring. Here you can learn how to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.

Pruning the olive tree in a pot step by step

The pruning of ornamental olive trees It is very simple, since we do not have to worry about the production of fruit from the tree. We tell you how to prune the olive tree in a pot step by step:

  1. During the first 3 seasons It will suffice to keep the shoots of the tree at a height of between 80 centimeters and 1 meter, which is the most common to mark the branching of the olive tree.
  2. After, up to 6 years Training pruning is applied to the tree, although it is not as important as in farmed olive trees. Here it is only a matter of leaving three well-marked main branches, so that it grows with a good structure.
  3. From then on it will only be necessary to practice every year a maintenance pruning, in which to eliminate branches and leaves in poor condition, as well as those that grow inwards or hinder others. We can also prune the branches that do not bear fruit, if what we are looking for is that it bear some more.

Finally, it must always be borne in mind that olive pruning is between autumn and winter, when fruiting is over. To learn more about it, you can consult our guide: When and how to prune an olive tree.

Potted olive tree: care - Pruning the potted olive tree step by step

Pests and diseases of the olive tree in a pot

to finish this guide on the care of the potted olive tree and how to prune itwe mention the most common diseases and pests in olive trees, both in pots and on the ground:

  • olive fly
  • olive mealybug
  • olive tree repilo
  • Soapy olive or antractosis
  • Verticillium wilt of the olive tree
  • olive tree tuberculosis

And for you to know more about it, we want to offer you extensive information about olive pests and diseases with our guides on:

  • Olive tree diseases: practical guide with photos.
  • Olive pests and their natural treatment.
  • Olive fly treatment: products, techniques and time.
Potted olive tree: care - Pests and diseases of potted olive trees

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