Olive trees add a Mediterranean touch to any area. You don’t have to live in southern Europe or California to enjoy the leathery, gray-green leaves of an olive tree. Nor is it necessary to have your own garden, since olive trees can be grown on balconies or indoors quite easily.
Most nurseries offer potted olive trees for sale. You will need to repot the olive tree a year later, as the roots will start to clump up in the normal container. To keep your olive tree comfortable, I suggest purchasing a large terracotta pot with a drainage hole in the bottom, fast-draining potting soil, and a balanced same-day houseplant fertilizer.
For your olive tree, locate a spot that is situated near a sunny, south-facing window. Your olive tree will require 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. The pot should not be placed near a radiator or heat vent. Also keep in mind that if the plant is placed too close to the window, it could act as a magnifying glass and “burn” the olive tree.
Once you have found a nice location for your olive tree, you will need to transplant your tree into the pot. I suggest you first put the terracotta pot in and bring the soil and tree into the pot and work there because once the pot is full of soil it can be very heavy to put it back.
First fill the terracotta pot halfway with the potting mix.
Then moisten the potting mix.
To remove the olive tree without damaging the roots of the original container you will have to grab the edge and then turn the pot over.
Tap the pot lightly with the palm of your hand.
The olive tree will slide out.
Pick up the tree and loosen the sides of the root ball with your thumbs.
Position the root ball of the olive tree so that it is about 1 inch below the rim of the pot.
Then fill the pot with the rest of the soil mix.
Firm the earth around the olive tree.
Then water abundantly.
You will know when to water your olive tree by sticking your finger in the soil mixture. If this feels dry 1 inch below the surface, then water well. In the colder seasons the olive trees take a natural rest so you will need to water less in autumn and winter. But make sure the soil never dries out completely! In winter you only need to pay once a month and in summer every two weeks.
You can prune the tips of the branches in spring to encourage bushy head growth. Make the cuts where a pair of leaves join a stem.
Unfortunately, olive trees sometimes fall victim to soft-bodied scales, which are small, yellowish-brown insects that cling to tree stems and suck the sap from the plant. To remove the scale you will need to spray the tree with insecticidal soap. Garden centers have different types of remedies for indoor use.
Enjoy your olive tree.