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UK Plant Care Guides

How to care for your Olive Tree

02 Nov 2023
How to care for your Olive Tree

With the right love and care, olive trees can last for hundreds of years. Below we have gathered the best tips on how to care for and prune your olive trees to make them last a life time!


It is wise to position your tree in the sunniest site possible where there is sufficient drainage and shelter. Olive trees are slow-growing and are perfect for pot-growing, they will thrive in a large pot on a patio or balcony, or in an unheated conservatory or greenhouse.

If you're hoping to grow fruit they should be kept outdoors whilst in flower as they are self-fertile and wind-pollinated.

They can be plated at any time of year as long as the ground isn't frozen. The hole needs to be twice the size of the root ball and it is advisable to spread the roots as you refile the whole to the base of the stem.


Knowing when to water an olive tree is key and should be done as soon as the soil dries out or is slightly damp. Allow the soil to become completely dry to the touch between watering, as your olive tree will not tolerate soggy soil and will thrive when the soil is a little on the dry side.

During the winter months reduce the amount of water that you give your olive tree to ensure the roots don't freeze as this will not encourage growth.

If you overwater an olive tree one of the main symptoms will be dropping or yellow leaves. When an olive tree receives too much water, the roots may become unable to function properly, resulting in injury to the tree.


To encourage healthy growth and a good crop of fruit it is advisable to apply an application of liquid fertiliser every month from early spring to mid-august.


Olive trees do not respond well to heavy pruning, and as they are slow- growing they won't require too much effort to keep in shape. However, any dead or awkward branches can be removed in late spring, pinching out the tips of young shoos will encourage them to develop a branching shape.

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