In its native Mediterranean region, the Olive (Olea europaea) has long been celebrated in myths, folklore, and scripture. Individual trees can live more than a hundred years, becoming ancient, gnarled forms. Our 18–20″ plant bears small, fragrant white flowers and looks attractive in a terra-cotta long tom pot from Germany. Olive Trees will thrive in full sun with moderate watering. For more information on growing and care, click on Growing Guide. They are hardy in Zones 8–10 and can be grown indoors elsewhere. Shipped in a 6½″ wide by 8″ tall pot with saucer.
WEATHER PERMITTING - Working with Mother Nature
In our business, we work closely with Mother Nature. In the colder months when we stipulate that an item is shipped “weather permitting”, that means temperatures outside our shipping facility in northwestern Connecticut and along the shipping route must be warm enough for tender plants to survive in unheated delivery trucks. Our practice of waiting for windows of milder weather may result in the occasional delay, but our customers tend to appreciate the care we take to make certain their plants arrive in the very best possible condition. Questions? Don’t hesitate to call our customer service staff at 1-800-411-6159.
HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.
WHEN WE SHIP
We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the Shipping Details box for each item. Please refer to the Shipping Details box to determine the earliest shipping time. Unless you specify otherwise, fertilizers, tools, and other non-plant items are shipped with your plants or bulbs. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at expected time of delivery.
We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
Average Customer Rating: (2 Reviews) Write a Review
Annie from Milford, CT
This lovely small tree has a delicate habit, I tied a couple of the branches for a bit of stability, and both Olive trees are doing very well. They add warmth and color to a large window, their pretty branches seem to have a life of their own.
No Green Thumb from Chicago, IL
Love the thought of growing an olive tree. Unfortunately after a few months mine has developed white spots and the leaves are falling off. I've been unable to find out what the disease is and treat it, so I'm afraid it will die soon. I'm not great with plants, but the orange tree I bought at the same time from White Flower Farm and which sits near it is doing fantastic. If you're looking for a sure thing, I don't think the olive tree is it.
Olive trees (Olea europea) are slow-growing and keep their leathery, gray-green leaves year-round. You have received a Spanish variety called Arbequina that is noted for its weeping shape. Two plants have been twined together to form a topiary, and they are attached to a support by raffia ties. Check the ties from time to time and loosen or remove them if they become too tight and cut into the stems.
GROWING IN A CONTAINER: In areas colder than Zone 8 (10°F), Olive trees must be grown indoors during the winter. Choose a place for your Olive tree that receives full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun each day). A location near a sunny, south-facing window is ideal. Take care to position your plant away from heat vents and radiators and not too close to a window, which can act as a magnifying glass and literally "fry" the leaves.
When the potting mix feels dry 1 inch below the surface, water thoroughly. Your tree will require less water in fall and winter, the seasons when Olive trees naturally take a rest, but dont let the soil mix dry out completely.
During fall and winter, fertilize once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer (such as 20-20-20). In spring and summer when your tree is in active growth, fertilize every two weeks or apply a timed-release fertilizer.
If you would like to move your tree outdoors for the summer, wait until the danger of frost has passed in spring, then gradually acclimate your plant to conditions outside over a week's time. Set the pot outdoors in a sheltered, lightly shaded spot, increasing the exposure to sun and wind each day. Check the moisture of the potting mix and water thoroughly if it's dry. Once acclimated, keep your Olive in full sun for the summer, and bring it back inside before frost in fall.
After a year or more, when the roots of your Olive have become crowded, transplant it into a larger pot. Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches wider in diameter, with a drainage hole in the bottom. Use a fast-draining potting mix, and begin by filling the container about half-full of moistened mix. Remove the plant from the pot by grasping the rim, turning the pot upside down, and tapping it against the heel of your hand. Gently break up the sides of the root ball with your thumbs and tease apart any roots that are circling at the bottom. Then set the root ball on top of the mix and adjust the amount of mix in the container so that the top of the root ball will be about 1 inch below the rim. Fill in around the root ball with potting mix to bring the level to about 1 inch below the rim, and firm lightly. Finally, water thoroughly.
GROWING IN THE GROUND: Gardeners in Zones 8 (10°F) and warmer can grow Olive trees outdoors. Before planting, give your plant a gradual introduction to direct sun and stiff breezes. Set the pot in a sheltered, lightly shaded spot, increasing the exposure to sun and wind each day. Check the potting mix and water thoroughly if its dry 1 inch below the surface. At the end of a week, your plant will be ready to go into the ground.
Choose a spot for your Olive that receives full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun each day) and is protected from drying winds. The soil should be fertile but very well drained. Amend the soil, if necessary, by digging in organic matter (such as well-rotted compost) and grit or pea gravel (which improves drainage). Dig a hole about twice the width of the pot but no deeper than the height of the pot. Remove the plant from the pot by grasping the rim, turning the pot upside down, and tapping it against the heel of your hand. Gently break up the sides of the root ball with your thumbs and tease apart any roots that are circling at the bottom. Set the root ball in the center of the planting hole. Push soil back into the hole and just over the top of the root ball, and firm the soil by pressing down with both hands. Then make a rim of soil around the edge of the planting hole to form a basin, which will hold water and channel it down to the roots. Finally, fill the basin with water.
In spring, about the time small white flowers appear on your Olive, begin fertilizing monthly with a balanced, granular fertilizer (formula 10-10-10). As an alternative, use a timed-release fertilizer that lasts for up to 3 months. Do not fertilize after October.
PRUNING: After bloom in spring, clip the tips of the branches to encourage a full, bushy head on your topiary. Make the cuts about ¼ inch above the point where a pair of leaves attaches to the stem. How much you cut off depends upon your preference for the overall shape of your topiary, but we recommend that each branch measure at least 6 inches long.
PESTS: Olive trees sometimes fall prey to soft-bodied scale, small yellow-brown insects that fix themselves to the stems and suck sap from the plant. On container-grown plants, spray the entire plant with insecticidal soap, BioNeem, or a superior oil (available at garden centers) labeled for indoor use, following the directions carefully. Dabbing the scale with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol is another remedy, but the process is time consuming and usually doesn't entirely eliminate the scale.