Olive tree in pot

How to best cultivate the olive tree in pots

First of all, the potted olive tree must be placed in a sunny area of ​​our outdoor space, be it a terrace, a balcony or a balcony. They are plants that need a lot of sun to grow in the best way. The perfect areas for the olive tree are the temperate and Mediterranean ones but it is possible to make it grow with other climates, the important thing is that they are not too cold and humid, especially in winter. The ideal exposure is towards the south. To overcome the harshest months it is advisable to apply copper oxychloride on the leaves in order to protect them like a second skin. Normally the potted olive tree does not need a lot of water, also because in nature it grows in rather arid areas: in winter it is not necessary to water it, autumn is enough once a month and in summer once every two weeks. (Image: The Chelsea Gardener)

Choose the right pot for the olive tree

It is important that you choose the most suitable pot for the olive tree, taking into account the peculiar characteristics of its roots and avoiding resorting to models that are too narrow so as not to make the plant suffer. In general, the olive tree must be purchased in the nursery at a height that is around one meter: in this way the root system of the tree is already well defined and therefore there is no risk that the plant, in the trauma of the transfer from the nursery to the buyer’s house, he may die. The pot must be tall and capacious, always taking into account that the olive tree is a slow-growing tree and therefore once the choice has been made this will be fine for many months, years when it is already a certain age: better, therefore, to make a small extra effort at the beginning to ensure the tree’s well-being. In fact, repotting in the first years of life takes place every two years, but when the plant reaches fifty years of age these operations become more and more spaced out over time. (Image: Los Angeles Times)

The fertilization of the olive tree in pots

The fertilization of the potted olive tree takes place in early spring, when the harshest months are behind us: it is in this period that the most significant growth of the specimens can be observed. Together with the water for watering it is therefore necessary to prepare a fertilizer of the 30-10-20 type obtained from a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In the other months the potted olive tree should not be fertilized, unless particular events have occurred (for example a repotting, a disease, an attack of parasites) that make it advisable to give the plants an extra gear, so that they can overcome the moment of difficulty. Peat tablets in pots are also recommended to give the right drainage and especially in winter a cover of leaves that protects the soil and roots from frost. (Image:

Olive tree in pot: The pruning of the olive tree in pot

Finally, as regards pruning, this basically has the function of giving the plant the desired shape, without exaggerating, and favoring its fruiting, so it is a very light maintenance. Once the potted olive tree has assumed the shape we prefer, pruning is only necessary to remove dry or diseased branches, or those that grow irregularly (for example the branches inwards or those parallel to the trunk). Cuttings and suckers can instead be used by the grower to create another specimen of olive tree. Most of the pruning interventions usually have to cover 25-30% of the crown of the plant, reserving lower percentages during the unloading years and higher to overcome particularly traumatic events such as a very invasive pest attack.

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