Olive tree

Most plant lovers from the Mediterranean region know olive trees. There the trees grow and thrive in large numbers and without any problems. The numerous fruits ripen in this warm, sunny climate. With us in Central Europe this is more difficult, but definitely possible.

As a rule, we cultivate olive trees in pots or tubs. There are also specimens that have already been planted, but only in mild regions. Old trees are far more resilient than young ones. Most owners of such an olive tree will keep it as a container plant, and that’s a good thing.

An olive tree is actually very easy to care for. If he has found a good place, gets enough sun and is appropriately wintered, nothing is a problem.
An olive tree can mostly self-fertilize. But cross-pollination is better, it brings a better yield. Some varieties are dependent on cross-pollination. So two trees are always better. Fruits do not appear before the fifth, usually not until after the tenth year.


The more favorable the location, the better an olive tree will thrive. In any case, it should be placed in a protected place. When the tree is planted out, it should not be placed too close to other trees. The minimum distance is 7 meters.

  • Sunny location
  • As sunny as possible
  • Protected
  • Plant substrate

An olive tree makes hardly any demands on the soil. It thrives in almost any garden soil. The substrate must not be too wet.

  • Drainage is important
  • Porous subsoil and a clay, sand and calcareous soil are ideal
  • The substrate must be permeable
  • Leave tree grate free, do not plant under
  • Plants or repotting

Excavated soil is important when planting out. Drainage is also incorporated into wet soils. An olive tree is only repotted when the roots grow out of the bottom of the container.

Important: excavated soil at least 30 cm deeper than the plant ball; Fill in excess excavation with porous, calcareous stones; Planter – diameter about as large as the tree canopy; Best time – spring

planted olive trees

Watering and fertilizing

Olive trees don’t get a lot of water in their homeland. With us, too, they get by with little moisture. Only young trees need a little more, especially in the first two years. Drainage is important so that unused irrigation or rainwater can drain away. It is advisable not to use cover pots or coasters. It is also important to ensure that no puddles of water form in the holes and depressions in the trunk or branches. These places often rot.

  • Basically don’t pour too much!
  • Standing water must be avoided at all costs!
  • Spray the tree now and then!
  • Water olive trees in pots more than planted specimens
  • You can fertilize, but you don’t have to.
  • Provide planted trees with compost in spring,
  • Potted specimens with container plant fertilizer

To cut

  • Cut only in spring
  • Thinning out can take place all year round
  • Cut back branches that have grown too long
  • A dense crown is important

Overwintering of planted olive trees

Old, planted olive trees can withstand frost down to – 10 ° C. Young trees are sensitive to frost. It is important to fertilize with patent potash until mid-September. This is good for the lignification of fresh shoots and greater winter hardiness. Nevertheless, the trees should be given winter protection before the first frosts are expected. If you want to protect your tree in particular, you can put a chain of lights around the trunk and the crown and use it to provide additional heating if it gets very cold.

  • Cover the root area with leaves, straw, mulch or protective mats
  • Wrap the trunk and main branches.
  • Mats made of jute, sisal, coconut or straw are cheap.
  • Do not use bubble wrap, the tree cannot breathe in it.
  • Wrap the crown with fleece
  • Better to remove snow – risk of snow breakage

Wintering from the olive tree in the bucket

Even olive trees cultivated in pots cannot stand the cold. If the root freezes, the tree dies. Plus 10 degrees are ideal for wintering. This requires light. If there is too little light, the olive tree loses leaves.

  • Wintering in a cold house at 10 ° C is ideal
  • Pour little, do not fertilize
  • Do not let the pads dry out
  • Ventilate winter quarters sufficiently
  • Clear them out as early as possible
  • Don’t put it in the sun straight away, get used to it slowly

Detailed information on care in winter can also be found in the detailed article about the wintering of olive trees .


You can multiply an olive tree by sowing or grafting. It takes a long time for an olive to grow into a tree. You can only use very ripe and above all untreated olives, otherwise it won’t work. It is best to buy seeds from dealers or bring them with you from vacation.


  • Remove the pulp
  • Put the core 1 cm deep into a nutrient-poor substrate (potting soil)
  • Keep jar with lid, slightly moist and keep warm
  • Little plants need a lot of light


  • Cut semi-lignified cuttings in summer
  • Plant with rooting preparations
  • Takes a long time and is a little difficult
  • It is better to buy grafted trees

olive trees Diseases and pests

Diseases and pests

With good care, olive trees usually enjoy good health. They are robust and not susceptible to disease or pests. If difficulties arise, it is usually due to too much moisture. If an olive tree dies, it was usually poured to death.

  • Putrefaction – from too much irrigation water
  • in the case of planted trees through caves and depressions in which water can collect
  • Spider mites – if overwintered incorrectly – nettle stock is ideal to pour over
  • Leaf loss – too little light, especially in winter
  • brown leaves – disturbed water absorption, mostly in the root ball after frost – if not dead, continue to care for it as usual
  • Drought – if the leaves are drooping, it does not have to be due to a lack of water. Olive trees require very little water. Control the root!

If you like the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, you can bring an olive tree with you as a souvenir of your holiday, grow it or buy it. In principle, the trees are very easy to care for, but you have to be careful in winter. A suitable location, good plant substrate and safe winter quarters are important. Then there is not much you can do wrong, other than too much watering, which unfortunately many plant lovers do. They tend to the tree practically dead. Olive trees cope much better with drought than with wetness. If you need water, let the leaves hang down. However, they can also hang if the roots rot from too much water. So caution is advised.

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