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When should I put olive tree back outside?

SplandySplandy Posts: 161

I received an olive tree at Christmas and it has been living in my conservatory. I think I am under watering it, I am awful at remembering to water things indoors. It's had two lots of water since Christmas. When can it go back outside and should I gradually acclimatise it or just plonk it straight out? I'm in the West Midlands. Some of the ends of thin branches have gone brown, possibly due to underwatering or maybe because my conservatory is south facing and it is too much on a sunny day. Could this be an issue even though it is unheated?

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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,017

    Olives don't do well with frosts, especially when young and small.

    If you can, dunk the entire pot in a bucket of water till no more air bubbles appear then let it drain completely.   Do this whenever it feels dry at a depth of one finger knuckle.  Then it will be neither over nor under watered.  Olives can cope with very dry conditions but that's because they have deep roots that seek water low down.  They can't replicate that in a pot.

    As you are in the West Midlands you are always going to have winters that are too cold for it so keep it potted in in good John Innes no 3 soil - good drainage - and protect from frost every winter.

    More info here - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/fruit/olives 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    All good advice there. If you are keeping it in the greenhouse for now, you should keep the doors open even if it is quite cold. Try to acclimatise it by bringing it out against a warm south/westerly wall and bring it back in at night.

    To avoid excess winter wet, raise the pot up off the floor, and keep them right up against the wall, and they should be fine. When young, and pot grown, they are sensitive to frost around the roots. If you decide to keep it outside in the winter months, wrap bubble wrap around the pot. 

    Last edited: 10 February 2018 11:26:41

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