Growing olive trees in the garden or in a container is really easy and very beneficial. Now, learn how to grow or plant an olive tree with this guide. So you will get the right direction for a healthy olive trees.
Overview – Growing Olives Trees
The olive tree comes from the Mediterranean climate which has a climate that tends to have long and dry summers with mild and not too dry winters. Need to know that Olive trees like a limey soil, and will be able to tolerate salty, coastal locations. In fact, lots of varieties of olive trees need cross-pollination. You need at least two different varieties to get an olive tree reliably.
Where do Olives Grow?
To produce olives, the olive tree needs at least 300 chill hours making it well adapted for in-ground cultivation in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7B-11 which means it is 300 hours below about 45°F in the wintertime. For this case, you are able to find your USDA zone. Olive trees will not be able to survive below freezing temperatures below 25-30°F.
In a not cold hardy place, you are able to grow olives trees in a pot to be brought indoors. The olive is semi-deciduous, typically dropping several of its attractive gray-green leaves in the winter. Olives trees tend to bear heaviest in alternate years. Also, it is pest and disease resistant, especially to fungal diseases.
After establishing, the olive tree needs little care. By the time the tree is 3 to 6 years old, you can expect to harvest some olives with a record under good growing conditions.
More info: All You Need to Know About Olive Trees Zone
How to Grow Olives Outdoors?
If you plant olive trees outdoors, the thing to pay attention to is a place that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun per day and full sun throughout the day. You need to select a place with very well drained soil. Remember that olive trees do not tolerate heavy and clayey soils. It must drain easily.
Now, you may want to know how fast do olive trees grow? For your information Arbequinas olive trees are able to get up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Some trees should be spaced about 10-20 feet apart. They prefer dry air.
Please dig a hole about twice as wide as the pot, and also at about the same depth. You have to straighten out and/or trim any coiled roots before you place the root ball in the hole. You can plant the plant no deeper than in the pot. You just want a few inches of soil above the root system and you do not want to disturb the roots too much. Also, do not add slow release fertilizer at this time. Please fill the planting hole in with the native soil and water deeply. Then, you have to spread a layer of organic mulch regarding 4-6 inches deep over the root zone and a little beyond. However, avoid piling it against the trunk.
For the first six months, when the new landscape tree is getting established, it must be watered deeply two or three times a week. In addition, setting up drip irrigation will be able to help the tree’s roots grow and also will improve fruit production.
Indoor Olive Tree Care
You do not lose hope if you do not live in the correct olive tree growing zone for growing Olive trees. Actually, it is still possible to plant olive trees in places with warmer climates or climates with cold weather. The solution is to plant the tree where it is going to receive a decent amount of shade during a warm winter. In North or Central Florida this plant will grow best with proper care so they can tolerate a variety of climates.
For indoor container cultivation for climates that are too cold to place outdoors year round, you have to choose a pot which is larger than the nursery pot it came in and also has big drainage holes. Also, you have to use a well draining potting mix with several gravel or sharp sandy soil mixed it to make the free drainage better.
Please position the container in full to mostly full sun during the dry summer. Also, you have to water it when the potting medium is dry to the touch. You are able to water it daily, but be careful not to overwater. The potting soil must dry out between waterings and have good drainage.
You need to bring the container inside to the sunniest spot available once temperatures get below 25°F. An eastern or western facing window will work best for full sunlight. After a few years, you may want to re-pot up to a larger container, replacing as much of the potting medium as practical. Just return outdoors once the frost has passed.
Need to know that Potted trees grow slower than ones planted in the ground, however they are equally as beautiful. Growing olives indoors is a nice choice for those who live in areas with extremely cold winters.
Olive Tree Fertilizer
Apply balanced fertilizer every 2-4 weeks starting second spring for Olive Trees that are in the ground in containers. You should apply about one cup for each year of age with the 10-10-10 formula and follow label directions also don’t let fertilizer touch tree trunks. You have to stop fertilizing in late summer so you do not encourage new growth which can be damaged by frost.
Your olive tree will start producing fruit after 3 years. Generally, Olives are green at first, but then turn a blackish purple when fully ripe at the end of the growing season. Arbequina Olive trees can be made into olives for eating, however more commonly are used in making olive oil due to their buttery and fruity flavor.