Olive trees are reminiscent of beautiful vacation days on the Mediterranean. There you will find huge olive plantations or olive groves, but also rustic solitary trees, ancient and of bizarre growth. In our Central European gardens, olive trees are still a rarity. On the other hand, they are often seen in planters. Cultivating an olive tree like this is not difficult. If, on the other hand, you want to have it in the garden all year round, you have to take a few precautions in winter. The best way to plant an olive tree is in a wine-growing climate. Nevertheless, in this guide you will learn how you can overwinter an olive tree in colder regions.

Overwinter the olive tree in a tub in the winter quarters

Caring for an olive tree in a bucket is the safer option. A vessel is transportable, at least for the first few years. Such a tree grows quite slowly. So it takes time for the pot and the tree to grow so big that there is difficulty in moving both to winter quarters. Then you have to come up with something, but as I said, that takes many years.

Temperatures, light & co

An olive tree needs slightly cooler temperatures in winter, but no frost. It is not made for wintering in a warm living room. This usually doesn’t work.

  • Important: Leave the tree outdoors for as long as possible
  • Light frost well tolerated (except very young trees)
    • change location only in the case of permanent frost or very deep frost
  • Frost kills pests that would otherwise migrate to winter quarters
  • 10 °C and a bright location are ideal for wintering
    • The basement is not suitable
  • cool hallway with window or bedroom
  • air regularly
  • severely restrict watering
  • The cooler, the less water is required
  • Gradually reduce watering
  • Don’t fertilize
  • when it is dark during the winter, it sheds its leaves
    • many trees cannot survive this
  • Bring the tree back outside as soon as possible
  • Frost must not prevail
  • get used to the temperature slowly
  • slowly get used to the sun exposure, otherwise sunburn will occur

Overwinter the olive tree outdoors in a bucket

If you have no way of overwintering the bucket in the house or garage, you can finally try it outdoors. However, the vessel needs a lot of protection to prevent freezing, which can cause great damage to the root. You pack up the olive tree, trunk and crown. (See the following text “Overwintering olive trees outdoors”).

  • In addition, place plant pots on styrofoam plates
    • protection from the cold from below, alternative: wood as a base
  • location protected from wind and weather
    • under a roof and in front of a heat-radiating wall.
  • Root heating makes sense

Winter olive tree in the garden

The older and therefore larger an olive tree is, the better it can cope with winter temperatures. But you can’t buy a big tree, which is quite possible, and then plant it in the garden. He must be used to the cold from “childhood”. There are olive trees that tolerate frost down to -7 °C. The length of the cold period is usually more important than the temperature itself. Many plants that are actually sensitive to frost tolerate brief exposure to cold. But if the weather persists, it becomes dangerous.

I recommend protecting olive trees that overwinter in the garden, no matter how old and how big they are. They should be packed properly. The safest way is with a heater that you can integrate. However, young olive trees should not be overwintered outdoors. Leave the buckets outside as long as possible. Every year you can go 1 to 2 degrees further down with the temperature. This way the tree will get used to the cold. Just don’t overdo it.

It is important that the tree gets a very sheltered place in the garden. This is the only way to hibernate.

  • good preparation
  • Fertilize with patent potash in early to mid-September
    • Increases resistance to frost and allows shoots to mature and lignify better
    • it is better to have several smaller submissions a few days apart than one extensive one
  • the tree gets through the cold season better if it is protected
    • wrap the entire tree, starting from the trunk to the complete crown
    • Air-permeable fleece is best suited
  • Foil also works, but moisture cannot escape
    • condensation occurs, which can also cause major damage
    • Foil must be perforated to prevent condensation
  • Mats made of jute, sisal, coconut and straw are also cheap
    • use for the root area
  • Ventilation is required when using foil
  • Cover the root area with a thick layer of leaves, straw or brushwood
  • Important: Don’t forget to give water
Idea: Many olive tree owners wrap a long chain of lights around the wrapped tree. The lamps develop heat and pass it on to the tree. When it’s really cold, that can make all the difference.
  • Root heating makes even more sense
    • Especially in regions with long and deep frosts
  • Remove snow so that the pressure on the packed crown is not too great

care mistake

Overwintering an olive tree is not difficult. However, mistakes are made again and again and many a tree does not survive the winter.

  • Spider mites at too high temperatures
  • Leaves fall when the location is too dark
    • It usually sprout again in the spring
  • Plant lamps with UV components can supplement the missing light.
    • 4 to 6 hours of additional lighting per day
  • Overwatering/waterlogging leads to rotten roots
  • in winter the tree is undemanding
  • drying out the root ball is also not good
  • Soil not too wet when overwintering outdoors
    • otherwise risk of frost

Overwintering an olive tree is actually not very difficult. One must not shy away from the work involved in packing, especially when cultivating outdoors. Only a well packed and protected olive tree survives the cold season. Since you don’t know what the next winter will bring, you have to assume the worst. You can also protect the tree in stages, depending on the weather forecast. Leave him unprotected for as long as possible. Then you wrap up the roots or cover them. This is recommended as soon as frost is announced for a longer period of time, even if it is not very deep. As soon as it gets even colder, pack up the crown and trunk. Root heating is recommended for permanent temperatures below – 10 °C. The tree should be able to withstand the frost. Don’t forget to water, but don’t overdo it either.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *