Olive Tree Types: Indoor Growing, Outdoor Zones, Pics, Care of Olive Trees

Woman looking at an olive tree indoors and outdoors and wondering how to identify types of olive trees and how to grow olives using garden care tips, facts, and Olive growing zones.

Did you know that the Olive Tree is one of the most ancient plant species on the planet and that there exists 6,000-8,000-year-old evidence to prove this?

The planting of the Olive Tree goes as far back as Ancient Greece, making it one of the most ancient cultivated trees all around the world.

You may know the tree by its tasty fruits but there is a lot more to it than just that.

Not only are the fruits and oil edible, you can also use the oil as fuel…and people have been doing that for literally thousands of years.

Plus, the flowers, fruits, and leaves contrast ever so nicely to give it its impressive look. It is no wonder that the tree is a homeowner’s favorite when it comes to ornamental trees.

You have the option of planting it indoors or outdoors, wherever you want, depending on the type of Olive tree you’d like.

This complete guide explains facts about the Olive tree, and includes information on how to identify and how to grow Olive trees (and care for them) so that you can enjoy the beauty and harvest from your planting efforts. 

Olive Tree

(Olea europaea)

Olive Tree in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Oleacea
  • Genus: Olea
  • Leaf: Feather-like in shape with a grayish green top and silvery white bottom
  • Bark: Gray, smooth when young, then turns rough the older it gets
  • Seed: Small, rock-hard seed covered by a solid endocarp
  • Blossoms: Tiny cream white and sometimes yellow
  • Fruit: Green drupes when young that then dark when ripe
  • Native Habitat: Mediterranean basin
  • Height: 20-30 Feet
  • Canopy: 15-25 Feet spread
  • Type: Evergreen
  • Native Growing Zone: 8-11

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


Image Credit: Nicole (Clikkity)36

What Is an Olive Tree?

Wondering what would be the perfect tree for your landscaping needs? The Olive Tree will never disappoint.

But first, you need to know what it is, especially if this is your first time coming across it.

When you see an Olive Tree, the first thing that comes to your mind is the warm Mediterranean, apparently its natural habitat and native region.5

Therefore, you can easily see that the Olive loves warm spots and always wants to soak in the sun. It is common for homeowners to plant it outdoors when they mostly have sunny weather.

Apart from the Mediterranean, the Olive is also a common tree in various parts of the world like Australia, South Africa, and America, both in the north and the south.

Probably the main reason why you would want to grow the Olive, maybe start an Olive Tree farm, is for the love of the olive, the tree’s fruit. It is one of the biggest imports in the Mediterranean all thanks to being a source of food and of course, olive oil.

Olive Tree growing on a plain showing short wide trunk and wide canopy of green leaves.

(Image: Leopictures (ulleo)25)

The types of olives you can plant are in thousands, although the larger percentage of those produced are usually converted to oil while the smaller portion, also called ‘table olives’ is used for direct consumption.

Are you sure about planting an Olive Tree,12 either indoors or outdoors? There are so many people like you who can’t wait to pick olives straight from their space.

The best place to start is knowing all the ins and outs of the tree, what it needs and how best you can care for it. You can then comfortably pick a variety and get right on the journey of being a proud Olive Tree parent.

Where Does Olives Grow?

The Olive Tree has been around for the longest time according to scientific evidence that dates them far back thousands of years ago. It is vital to know where the Olive naturally and comfortably grows because it gives you a very clear picture of what to expect when it comes to the tree’s climatic requirements.

So, where do Olives grow? The Olive Tree grows in various regions from Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Pakistan, Australia, Peru, New Zealand, South Africa, and California in the US.

It is also quite interesting that there are also more countries around the world where Olives are massive hits, take Saudi Arabia, Bermuda, Java, and Argentina. Can you pinpoint what is the common factor in all these regions?

They are all sunny, with very warm climates, which tells you exactly what the Olive Tree wants. It will live and thrive in places with extra high temperatures and you are in luck if you happen to experience that in your region.

The locations boast of tremendous olive production and the numbers are staggering, more than 20 million tons come from these places, grown exclusively for commercial olives.

Olive Tree Symbolism

You may know that the Olive is a symbol of peace, but where did that tree symbolism come from? It also goes way back in Greece, actually in Greek mythology, where Athena and Poseidon were put to the test by Zeus over who will get to control Athens.

Athena won after offering an olive with stunning leaves that produced a lot of fruits.11

Have you ever heard of the phrase “extending an olive branch”? There is also a deep meaning to that which goes back to the biblical times when a dove brought back an olive branch after the calming of the floods in the story of Noah’s Ark.

It symbolized new beginnings and that is what the phrase is all about, still making sense today.

The Olive Tree still bears a lot of meaning in the modern world and the most common symbolism is longevity.

This comes from the fact that the trees are very famous for living for thousands of years and scientifically, the symbol makes sense because the fruit contains healthy fat that helps lower the levels of cholesterol and in turn reduce the risk of heart problems.13

Uses and Benefits of Olive Wood

The Olive Tree is the gift that just keeps giving and you will never run out of uses with it as you are about to see. Apart from eating the fruits or crushing them to make olive oil, could you believe that the wood from the tree is invaluable in the construction market?

If you want to grow a plantation you can imagine how much you will gain from selling the luxurious Olive Wood.

Graphics of uses of Olive wood showing images of wood products such as furniture, cookware and kitchen utensils, chopping boards, rosary beads and crucifixes, wood flooring, tool handles, and wood art projects.

It is elegant, strong, and makes the most stunning woodwork, no wonder it is considered one of the most high-end woods.

What are the features that make it stand out though? You may ask.

For one, it is heavy and very durable, coming in various shades, from cream to yellowish or dark brown.

If you take a look at the grain, it comes in a sort of wavy pattern and the surface is the smoothest you will ever find.

It is also fascinating that the wood features an intoxicatingly sweet aroma that lasts for a very long time. It is for these and so many other reasons that the olive is generally regarded as an exotic product that can fetch you a great price should you decide to plant several of them on a farm.

Now, take a look at the various uses of Olive Wood.

  1. It comes in handy when making breathtaking high-end luxurious furniture for indoor use.
  2. You can use it to make cookware and kitchen utensils, from spoons to bowls.
  3. The strong, non-porous wood can make incredible chopping boards.
  4. It is used in weaponry to make durable pistol grips.
  5. The creators of religious artwork love to use Olive Wood for making rosary beads, crucifixes, and other items,
  6. For those who don’t mind the cost, you can use the material to make stylish and expensive flooring.
  7. Skilled craftspeople use Olive Wood for making high-end tool handles, the most common one being used in making knives.
  8. For those who love art, the wood’s easy bendability makes it perfect for all your wood art projects.

Olive Tree Facts You Should Know

The Olive Tree is quite an interesting one and it is expected that you would want to grow it in your yard or room.

There is more to it than what you see on the surface; there are more exciting facts about the tree apart from it being a beauty that produces valuable wood and fruits.

Closeup of Olive Tree showing shiny green olive fruits and grayish-green leaves.

(Image: Desiré 🙏 Dazzy 🎹🎶 K-e-k-u-l-é (Van3ssa_)26)

Here are some fun facts about it that any new plant parent should know.

  1. The oldest Olive Tree in the world is in Greece and is scientifically proven to be a whopping 2,000 years old, and is still very much alive and still produces fruits to this date.
  2. Are you wondering how long does an Olive Tree live (Olive Tree life span)? You will be shocked that the tree you plant is able to live for as much as 300-600 years and that you can actually pass it on to a couple of generations in your family.
  3. Another common question from new plant parents is, how big does Olive Tree get? Unlike other massive trees that grow extremely tall, Olive Trees rarely surpass the 50-foot mark and will often grow relatively shorter.
    Most of them reach 20-30 feet but that’s just about it, they are not the giant trees of the world.
  4. The olive oil extracted from the tree is packed with so many benefits,14 especially for your health. You can use it for cooking, skincare, and any other purpose and experts and doctors alike marvel at its numerous benefits.
  5. The Olive Tree is especially considered a peace symbol, not only during Ancient times but also today where you will find it drawn on various national flags and even the flags of some states in the US.
  6. Did you know that a typical Olive Tree is able to produce an average of 20-40 kg of Olives every single year? If you do the math, about 100 kg of fruits create 15 liters of olive oil, therefore, a tree is more than likely able to produce like 3-6 liters annually.4
  7. Olive Tree is also famous for being a very resilient tree that is able to withstand whatever gets thrown at it, be it wildfires or prolonged drought.
  8. The tree is so revered and beloved that there is a day dedicated to celebrating its existence. The National Olive Day falls on the 1st of June to basically celebrate the several uses of the tree alongside its health benefits.

Olive Types: Types of Olive Tree

Contrary to what many people may believe, there is not just one Olive Tree. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of types of trees that fall under the Olive Tree umbrella, growing comfortably in various regions based on their needs.

Graphics of types of Olive Tree showing images of fruits and leaves of Arbequina, Mission, Manzanilla, Picholine, Kalamata, Amfissa, Nicoise, Frantoio, Gordal Sevillano, and Wilsoni Olive Trees along with short descriptions.

For example, an Olive Tree in Morocco will not have the same features as another Olive in Spain, looking closely, you will discover that they are unique trees from their leaves to their fruits.

Are you looking for the best options to plant in your home, the following are some of the top homeowners’ favorites.

Mission Olive Tree

Kicking off the list is the Mission Olive Tree, native to California, although many are certain that it is from Spain, having been brought to the U.S. through missionaries from as far back as the 1700s.7

They should be at the top of your list if you live in the colder parts of the country because it is famous for being more tolerant of the cold in comparison to other varieties.


This is another striking tree that is native to Spain that is also pretty resilient to the cold, able to survive temperatures as low as 22 degrees (F).

One fascinating feature about it is that it is the most widely grown Olive Tree in California, making up about 78% of the total Olive Tree population.

Closeup of Arbequina Olive Tree showing its grayish stem with yellowish-white flowers and green leaves.

(Image: Victor M. Vicente Selvas27)

These trees can reach 20 feet in height, and being self-pollinating, are able to bear tasty fruits for up to 4 years.


You must have seen the olives from this tree at some point. If they look very familiar, it’s because they are the country’s most widely produced olives.

You have a better chance with this species because it has already established itself in the country.

It may be a tad bit slow growing but its beauty is unmatched, perfect for an ornamental and shade tree, but be careful that it doesn’t get too cold, or it could get infected by Olive Knots and other deadly diseases.


This stunning beauty is French and is known far and wide for its extra tasty Olives.15 These fruits are the best part of the tree because where else will you get Olives that are crunchy, yet spicy, with undertones of nut flavor?

It grows in most parts of its native country, France, and the people mostly use it for their cooking recipes and snacking.


This Olive Tree is hard to miss, especially with its massive fruits that are exceptionally dark brown and a little smoother in texture. This tree with a catchy name hails from Southern Greece in a place called Kalamata, hence, the name.

One of the most fascinating aspects about the fruit is the fact that the Olives have a smoky flavor, making it a favorite for recipes that call for black olives.


The Amfissa is another Greek Olive Tree that you would want to grow in your home. You will love that it grows extremely fast and is quick to produce fruits in its first 3 years or so.

Its olives are beautiful, taking a purplish color and boast of a mild fruity taste. Since it is generally a small tree, it is a favorite for virtually any homeowner, all thanks to its space-saving feature.


Ever heard of the Nicoise salad, this is why it is called that, the drupes, being the staple ingredient. It is common to find these olives in kitchens in France and will easily notice the small black fruits; you wouldn’t believe that it is native to Italy.

You don’t have to worry if you live in an extremely hot region, because the tree will never mind living there.


Stunning is an understatement when talking about the Frantoio Olive Tree from Tuscany, Italy.

You can see it from a distance by the small oval-shaped dark drupes; wish you can either eat or use in oil manufacture.

Closeup of Frantoio Olive Tree showing thin branches with grayish-green leaves and round deep-purple and yellowish-green olive fruits.

(Image: PROPOLI8728)

If you are looking for a tree that adds color and character to your landscape, think of the Frantoio.

Gordal Sevillano

Spain is known for its magnificent Olive Trees and the Gordal Sevillano is no different. Many say that the tree kind of looks like a Willow Tree with its small, dark leaves and wide canopy.

It makes an exceptional Olive Tree, all thanks to its trunk that grows elegantly gnarled.


This list would not really be complete without the stunning Wilsoni Olive Tree. It is one of the most popular trees in the country, but it is different from all other trees on the list, all because of the simple fact that it is fruitless.2

Apart from that, it is also resistant to drought and does exceptionally well even when living in warmer regions. Another advantage of having it growing in your yard is that you won’t really have to worry about picking and cleaning up fallen olives.

What Does Olive Tree Look Like? How To Identify Olive Tree (Picture of an Olive Tree)

The various parts of a tree all come together to make the ever-elegant Olive Tree that anyone would want to have growing in their backyard.

Olive Tree identification chart showing full grown Olive tree with average height range, Olive Tree leaves, Olive Tree flowers, Olive Tree fruits, and Olive Tree bark images along with their respective short descriptions.

If you have never really seen one, or are wondering what the individual parts look like, here is an elaborate guide to how you can effortlessly identify an Olive Tree using its unique features.16

Olive Tree Fruits

It is only fair to start off the list with the Olive Tree’s most prominent and famous feature, its tasty, colorful drupes or otherwise called olives. Although there are other fruitless Olive Trees, the drupes remains one of the most important reasons as to why you would want to plant the tree anyway.

The drupes are small, measuring 1.5-3.5 cm long, that is according to the type of Olive in question because some are larger than others. Usually, the fruits start as green then slowly but surely turn yellowish, then dark.

They can either be harvested and eaten as is or processed to create olive oil.

Olive Tree Trunk

The first time you grow your Olive Tree, you will marvel at the smooth bark that is light gray in color and looks like a perfectly sculptured tree. However, things change a little bit when the tree gets older.

The straight smooth bark becomes rough, darker, cracked and bumpy all the more the tree ages. Into maturity, what is left is a twisted gnarly trunk that gives the Olive its statement look that everyone has grown to know and love.

Olive Tree Leaves

The leaves are the icing on the cake that makes the Olive Tree a stunning landscaping option. The foliage grows thick, providing shade underneath and ultimately giving the Olive its signature look.

Each leaf is lance-shaped and can measure 10 cm long and 3 cm wide, which is already impressive. What’s more, they have a slippery feel and are dark green in color, and you definitely want to see that when the sun hits it just right.

Olive Tree Flower

What is an Olive Tree without its magnificent flowers? Spring should come for you to see your tree in full bloom after it bursts out to showcase the striking colors and amazing fragrance.

The buds that stayed on the tree all season long then transform into slender Olive flowers.

They are tinier in comparison to other massive trumpet flowers you see around, but that doesn’t take away from their beauty at all. They are tiny and white with four petals and heavily scented, which of course you want from your ornamental tree.10

Olive Tree Seeds

Inside the tasty drupe of the Olive Tree, of course, lies the seed that you can use to grow a new Olive Tree, although it is not really the most recommended way to go. The seed is rock solid and covered in a hard endocarp which, during germination, must break so as to allow the seed to sprout into a seedling.

Olive Tree Roots

Are you worried that planting an Olive Tree means dealing with an invasive root system?17 You don’t have to because the Olive is more well-behaved than other trees, and you will never have that problem in your yard.

The root system basically runs 2-5 feet below the ground, and in comparison to the size of the tree, this is a bit shallow. While the focus remains on the tap root that digs deep in its formative years, the lateral parts will then take over, at least until the tree matures.

How To Plant an Olive Tree

Don’t panic about planting Olive Trees. It is not as daunting as it may seem.

In fact, many first-timers laud it for its easy care and maintenance making it one of the best trees that you can start out with. You don’t feel like you have a green thumb?

Angled shot of a recently watered bonsai Olive Tree planted in a blue pot with some gravel around the tree that serve as mulch to keep moisture in the soil.

(Image: Glenn A Lucas (PastorG)29)

Not to worry because the Olive is easy going, just as long as the location is perfect.

The following are the planting tips for Olive Trees that will come in handy for you whether you are experienced in planting landscaping trees or a first-timer.

Growing an Olive Tree From a Seed

Have you ever wondered whether you can grow an Olive from a seed or its pit? If it works for the Avocado Tree, then it is also supposed to work for the Olive, too, right?

You are not wrong, it is just that there are a few factors to consider when it comes to growing an Olive Tree from its seed. Experts don’t really recommend it for various reasons, but it is still possible.

First things first, the pit that you would like to grow your Olive from must be fresh. Basically, it has to be from an olive fruit that you have just plucked from the tree, which means that the store-bought olives are out of the picture.

The seed is also supposed to be clean and thoroughly processed to ensure that germination will take place.

Take the seed in the fall as soon as the fruits start ripening. Avoid picking those from black already-ripened fruits and those that have been on the ground for a while.

For the best results and the best chances of success, collect healthy, intact fruits straight from the tree. The next step is to remove the fruit flesh and clean the seeds.

Lastly, you want to sow the pits in well-draining and fertile soil, ensuring that the container is at least 6 inches deep. Also, when planting, you can dig at least twice the size of the seeds and set the planter under a grow light watering regularly, but not leaving the soil waterlogged.

You should see the sprouting seeds in the second month after planting.

Growing an Olive Tree From a Cutting

Growing an Olive from the seed can be a rather long and painful process. So what do you do if you are in a hurry or lack the patience to wait for months for the seed to germinate?

You can simply use a cutting from an already existing tree to grow your own. The best part about it is that at least you get the chance to choose the genetics of the tree.

When you plant a cutting,18 you are able to grow the exact copy of the parent Olive Tree, ensuring that it is a healthy, hardy tree that is stunning. For starters, find the tree that you want and take a cutting from one of its branches, but make sure that it measures at least 8 inches long and about ¼ inches in diameter.

Remove most of the leaves at the top and leave a few, then take off about an ⅛ inch below a node.

Closeup of Olive Tree showing leaflets sprouting from the bark of an old Olive Tree.

(Image: photosforyou30)

To guarantee that the tree grows as fast as you would like it to, take the chopped end and dip it in a rooting hormone. Next, fill a planter with potting mix, ensuring that it is at least 8 inches deep, then dig a 4-inch hole and plant the cutting in the hole while pressing the sand around it.

In only 2-3 months, the roots should have formed and stabilized, which allows you ample time to keep watering and caring for your tree.

Growing an Olive Tree From a Seedling

Planting an Olive Tree from a seedling is perhaps the simplest way to go. If you have very little time to grow your Olive, you can always go for planting from the seedling.

Here, all you have to do is to pick a tree from the nursery and plant it indoors or outdoors in your home. It is the fastest and least demanding planting method, especially since it needs only a few steps.

So, how do you go about it? Dig a hole of almost the same size that the seedling has come with, which will create enough room to accommodate the seedling.

What you want to avoid is planting the tree in a hole that is deeper than the previous pot because the last thing you want to do is disrupt the root process. It is that simple; just transfer the plant to a hole the same size as the planter, and the tree should continue growing as if nothing ever happened.

How Far Apart To Plant Olive Tree

What if you want to grow multiple trees, not just a single one? You have to think about the spacing and do it correctly because the roots and the canopy of the Olive Trees can get pretty wide.

Homeowners should always avoid such cases where the trees grow too closely together because competition for resources can get nasty, and it will obviously show.

Eye-level shot of a portion of an Olive Grove showing Olive Trees planted in uniformed distance to show how far apart to plant Olive Tree.

(Image: Tommaso Pardi (Tom79)31)

There should be enough space for the roots to stretch and the leaves to extend to receive adequate sunshine. Considering how wide the Olive Tree can become, the best distance you are supposed to leave between any two trees is 10-20 feet.

This should be enough for the canopy and the roots, avoiding unnecessary competition.

When To Plant Olive Tree for the Best Yield

The timing and the location are probably the two most important considerations you should make when deciding to plant your Olive Trees. It is a common mistake first-time growers make because the Olive Tree loves to be comfortable in the prevailing climate and weather.

If you don’t get it right, it could possibly end up with a struggling tree that can’t seem to grow or one that frequently struggles with diseases.

So, when exactly is the safest time to plant your Olive Tree?19 Simple, it has to be in the months of spring.

You have to at least make sure that winter will not be a problem and that the last frost is gone for the year. The exact month usually depends on which year it is and the state you are in, but all in all, you should be good to go planting during the first days of April all the way to the end of May.6

How To Plant an Olive Tree in Pot: Olive Tree Indoor

Now to the tricky part, what about planting the Olive Tree indoors? Is it possible considering the fact that the tree grows naturally in the sunny parts of the Mediterranean?

If you are one of those plant parents that love their trees growing right inside the house in their favorite rooms, you are good to plant the Olive Tree, but only if you can make sure that sun exposure will never be an issue.

That is why you will have to plant it near a window to allow it to soak up sunlight as much as it can. First, you will need a container that has drainage holes to prevent unnecessary water logging.

Next, fill it with potting mix and plant the seedling, but while at it, make sure that there is at least a one-inch distance between the soil and the edge of the container.

Another trick is to place a kind of saucer under the planter to collect the water that seeps out. Another question is, how do you know that it is time to water?

Maybe the fastest way to tell is when you dip your forefinger into the soil, and you find it dry. Thankfully, the Olive is self-fertile and can still be fruitful indoors.

Olive Tree Plant Care Indoors

Potted Olive Tree care is an essential skill to learn particularly if you are certain that your Olive Tree cannot survive the outdoors. Freezing winters will most likely kill your plant, but you can keep it safe by bringing it indoors.

For it to grow successfully, you want to provide at least 6 hours of sunlight every single day, and if not enough, supplement it with a grow light.

Additionally, to be on the safe side, you want to go for a Dwarf Olive Tree that will always grow smaller, perhaps no higher than 6 feet and if possible, just leave it growing as one of the types of Bonsai Trees indoor. This is also the right call to make because it will be more manageable when it comes to pruning and other care needs.

If you want to improve the growth rate, you want to add a slow-release fertilizer, and that should take place at least twice every year.

You also have the option to relocate your tree back outdoors when the weather is more bearable. While doing it, the goal is to gradually expose it to the sun by first keeping it sheltered.

You should be able to expose it fully in a week or so.3 However, while enjoying container gardening,20 you also want to watch out for problems with Olive Trees in pots.

Wide shot of an Olive Tree in a pot showing its green leaves and tiny white flowers.

(Image: Hans32)

It is a common mistake that owners make, forgetting that their plant is not growing in the ground outside and end up overwatering or underwatering it. Growing in a planter can cause such problems, especially if there are issues with the drainage.

These challenges are the number one cause of root rot and plant death in extreme cases, and you want to avoid them at all costs.

Olive Tree Care and Maintenance

Nothing is as important as your Olive Tree being comfortable. The goal is to provide as much of its needs to avoid stunted growth and other problems that can even be fatal.

When considering how to grow an Olive Tree, it is very important to consider what are the best growing conditions for Olive Tree in order to provide that and keep the plant healthy and happy.

What Are the Watering Needs for Olive Tree Plants?

The Olive Tree handles water stress like a pro, but that doesn’t mean that you should let it suffer. It is interesting that the number of times you should water your tree depends on what you want from it.

If you want olives to eat, you will have to water the tree more, but not as much if you need the trees for oil production.

However, deep watering once a week should be enough for any Olive Tree but if the weather is scorching, say in the sweltering summers, you will have to water the tree more frequently or whenever the soil runs dry.

How Much Sunlight Does Olive Tree Need Each Day?

You can easily tell that the Olive loves the full sun; look at the climate in its natural habitat, the Mediterranean Basin.

If you want a happy tree, you will have to at least provide close to similar conditions, starting with sunlight for at least 6 hours every day, and that should be direct sun, not under a shade.

If you are dealing with an indoor plant, you will have to place the planter next to a window or in a perfect spot where you are more than sure that the sun’s rays can seep through because the Olive Tree don’t belong to the list of plants that don’t need sun.

How Do You Prune an Olive Tree?

There is no escape when it comes to pruning the Olive Tree. No matter how busy you are, you can always find a day at least once a year to thoroughly prune your tree.

What if you don’t or forget to do it? What will happen to it?

You will have to deal with a stressed, stunted tree and one that is bent out of shape.9

There is no compromise, and you should learn how best to do it, or else it will affect the entire tree. Trimming an Olive Tree is best done once the winter has passed, and the goal is to stick to the branches which are less than 90cm from the ground.

Also, you will keep pruning the more the tree grows,21 removing the weak and unwanted parts.

Fruiting vs Fruitless Olive Tree: Which One Is Perfect for You?

Olive Trees basically come in two versions, fruiting and fruitless, and you have the option of going either way, whatever works for you.

The fruiting trees are probably the most common, and it is clear to see why many people want their trees to bear fruit for direct consumption or oil manufacture, which makes them very common in plantations.

Closeup of Olive tree showing dark green leaves and green fruits growing on the Olive Tree stems.

(Image: Roberto Patumi (robertopatumi)33)

On the other hand, however, there are also fruitless types which either produce little or no olives. They look almost the same as the fruiting ones, from the color of the leaves to almost every other aspect.

In comparison, they tend to grow shorter but still have their upsides. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages that you must first consider before deciding what works for you.

For instance, the fruiting trees are often more stunning and they are excellent for growing for commercial purposes. But still, the fruitless varieties need way less care and maintenance, and you don’t have to worry about olives littering your yard or driveway.

Therefore, the decision is entirely upon you; which one do you think will serve you better?

What To Know About the Dwarf Olive Tree

Trees are revered for their majestic look, and everyone wants theirs to grow as tall as they possibly can, but there is a problem. What if you don’t have the space for a giant tree?

What if you want to grow it indoors? It is for these exact reasons that the Dwarf Olive Trees are becoming more and more popular by the day, and you will likely find them in many homes.

The Dwarf Olive Trees are as a result of interbreeding various cultivars to create a tree that grows relatively shorter than the others. The most common type of Dwarf Olive is the Little Ollie and most of them grow to only 10 feet high and 6 feet wide.

Some are also known to reach 15 feet, which makes it very important to know how to prune them to keep the height in check.

Faux Olive Tree vs the Real Deal

It is obvious that the Olive Tree is gorgeous, and absolutely anyone would love to have it growing in their space. It is no wonder that you are likely to bump into faux Olive Trees for sale online that look eerily similar to the real ones.

As any other first-time plant parent who is sure about planting the Olive Tree, you may ask, what if you go for the fake plant instead?

There are definitely a few upsides to it when you come to think about it. For one, you will never have to worry about watering the plant, and the best part is that there is no need for strict care and maintenance rules like sunlight exposure and pruning.

But wait, before you make up your mind, you should consider the pros of planting the real deal.

Actual Olive Trees are naturally breathtaking,22 and you get the unmatched experience of watching yours grow from a seedling to a mature flowering tree that is able to live for a pretty long time. It definitely looks, feels and smells better than a plastic tree.

It is also better for the planet than a faux Olive made of harmful PVC plastic.

Olive Tree Growth Rate

Are you an impatient or curious plant parent, wondering how long does it take for a tree to grow?

Of course, you want your Olive Tree to grow big and tall, and within the shortest time possible, and it is okay that you would ask yourself this one question, even before planting, how long it takes to grow Olive Tree?

Graphics of Olive Tree growth rate and stages showing images of Olive Tree in year 1, Olive Tree year 2, Olive Tree year 3-6, Olive Tree year 7-10, and Olive Tree year 11 and beyond along with each of their heights.

It all depends on how you planted it. Obviously, you should expect it to take longer if it started from seed because it has to first go through all the motions, from germination to establishing itself as an independent tree.

Experts state that you can even wait for as long as 18 months for your seed to become a strong seedling that you can comfortably transplant into the soil.

After that, you will also have to wait about 3-5 years as the tree approaches maturity and is finally able to produce fruits. Therefore, in totality, you may end up waiting 5-7 years before you can start enjoying your olives, that is, after planting a seed.

Luckily, the time may end up slashing to only 3-5 years when you start out with a seedling or a cutting.

Olive Tree Growing Zone

Another very vital consideration to make if you are a prospective Olive Tree parent is what are the growing zones for Olive Tree (where to grow it if you want nothing but the best yield). It all starts with the tree’s native land, the Mediterranean Basin.

Take a look at the kind of temperature it thrives in and how happy it is able to survive the extreme heat of regions like Morocco, Tunisia, and California.

That should tell you a lot about the Olive Tree; it loves the sun and thrives best under high-temperature regions. It is no wonder it best grows in USDA zones 8-11, although in some rare cases, it can also easily survive in zone 7.1

The older the tree gets, the easier it is to tolerate extreme cold.

It is quite common for plant parents to start off their plants as indoor trees and only later take them outside to keep them safe from chills when they are young. You can also do the same if you don’t live in a region with hot and dry summers, but if you do, your Olive Tree will thank you, and it will show by how healthy and happy it grows.

Best Companion Plants for the Olive Tree

Your Olive Tree doesn’t have to be lonely; at some point, it will need some other plants to keep it company, make it look even prettier and even help it with some things. If you are looking for the best companion plants for growing Olive Tree,23 take a look at a few.

If you have your Olive Tree growing outside, you will at some point have issues with insect attacks; that is why you need to plant your tree alongside others that will help keep off these insects.

The best options include borage, marigolds, petunias, and nasturtiums; these also look stunning and will help heavily attract pollinators, like some types of bees, to your Olive Tree.

Closeup view of an old Olive Tree showing Olive Tree grayish bark with deep fissures.

(Image: Gianluca (dexmac)34)

There are also other spices and herbs that will do the trick to help repel pests from your Olives. Some of the most effective include rosemary, onions, chives, mint, garlic, and thyme.

You can also do your Olive a great favor by planting nitrogen fixers all around it, excellent examples include peas, lupines, clover, and lentils.

Pests of the Olive Tree To Look Out For

Imagine caring fervently for your Olive Tree only for it to succumb to a pest attack, which is why every prospective or new Olive Tree parent should know which are the most common pests of the Olive Tree in order to watch out for them.

Olive Moth

This is one of the most deadly insects that target the Olive Tree, feasting on virtually all the parts.

It is a serious concern for large-scale farmers because the pests love feeding on the tasty olives.

Black Scale

Another pest to know about is the black scale which can’t help but feed on the Olive tree sap and leave behind excrement of sugars on the tree, substances which propagate mold fungus that fatally attacks the tree.

Olive Tree Borer

If you find tunnels and holes in your Olive Tree, it is more than likely that there has been an Olive Tree borer attack which often leads to the drying of the olive branches.

Olive Lace Bug

These insects tend to measure only 3mm long yet cause unimaginable damage to the Olive Tree.

They bite into the leaves, especially on the underside and the best way to detect them is when you notice that the leaves are forming colored dots on the surface.

How To Stop Olive Tree Pests

Many will immediately run to pesticides when dealing with insect attacks on their Olive Trees, but there is more to it than just treating the problem. It has to start at the root cause, which is the lack of care and maintenance, which accelerates pest attacks.

If you never ever want to deal with such scenarios, the best you can do is take very good care of your Olive Tree.

Provide enough water, sunshine and nutrients and sit back and watch how well the tree flourishes. Also, ensure that the drainage is okay, and there is no water logging which creates a great breeding ground for pests.

Alternatively, you can also go for natural pest control for Olive Tree using only dish soap, neem oil, Garlic, and other natural herb repellents to create safe and affordable “pesticide”.

Common Olive Tree Diseases

The very last thing you want is a situation where your plant is ailing, and you have no idea what to do. Below are some of the most common and deadliest Olive Tree diseases that you know.

1. Verticillium

Fungal tree diseases are the worst because you can never see them coming. All you will notice with Verticillium is that the leaves will start to discolor and disfigure.8

2. Crown Gall

Another disease to look out for is the Crown Gall which manifests as tumors on the roots slightly above the ground, and this has the effect of preventing physiological processes by the roots and eventually causing the plant’s death.

3. Anthracnose

You must have heard about this disease that leads to the emission of a toxic chemical which ultimately causes the Olive branches to dry up.24

4. Olive Knot

Not forgetting another deadly bacterial infection, the Olive Knot, which generally weakens the tree and can be fatal if not properly checked.

Olive Tree Disease Prevention

Olive Tree diseases are not a joke. One minute, your tree is fine, and the next, it is slowly dying. While treatment with fungicides helps reduce the effects of the attack, it is also important to start with the initial strategy, which is prevention.

If you are thinking of how to stop Olive Tree disease, it starts with prevention.

Long shot of a massive Old Olive tree showing wide trunk and spreading branches creating wide canopy.

(Image: guentherlig (liggraphy)35)

Never plant a new tree on the ground that was previously infected with a disease, and if by any chance one of your trees is infected, you will have to chop and dispose of the affected parts before they spread; fungal and bacterial infections are infamous for transferring to other trees through the wind and waterways.

Are you looking for a gorgeous landscaping tree that can’t seem to stop giving? Consider the Olive Tree.

It is known far and wide for its yummy edible fruits, and you can imagine having that growing right in your yard. The fruits can either be eaten directly or pressed to make olive oil.

The tree’s usage dates back thousands of years, and it is still pretty much in use to date.

And the best part about planting the Olive Tree is the fact that it is resilient and very easy to plant, and you don’t have to worry about it dying, as long as it is growing in the right place and at the right time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Olive Tree

What Does an Olive Tree Leaf Look Like?

An Olive Tree is elegant, and it shows straight from the leaves, they are dark green lance-shaped and tend to measure 10 cm by 3 cm with a stunning slippery, glossy feel. This makes them one of the most impressive aspects of the Olive Tree and one of the reasons why many want to grow it in their yards.

Are Olives a Vegetable?

Although the olive is used in the culinary world for various food recipes, it is not a vegetable but a fruit. It develops from the Olive Tree’s flower and is actually a member of a group of tasty and juicy fruits called drupes.

When Should You Expect a Flowering Olive Tree?

When growing the Olive Tree, you can expect it to start flowering later in spring. Being a self-pollinating perfect flower with the male and female parts in one place, the Olive is known to bear a lot of fruits, even when growing singly in your home.

How Much Carbon Does Olive Tree Sequester?

The Olive Tree is known as a great air purifier when growing indoors and does a great job at carbon sequestering. According to experts, a standard Olive Tree is able to absorb as much as 570 kg of carbon all through its life which is quite impressive.

Read More About About Olive Tree


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