Forum home Problem solving

My olive tree appears dead on one side

I have an olive tree in a pot that I bought last summer, I put it in a spare room over winter and I realise now that I didn’t water it enough and all the leaves went dry and crispy. They don’t fall off though unless you touch them. However I seem to have saved it and new shoots are appearing but they are only on one side of the tree. Does anyone know why this has happened and is it likely the other side will start to shoot and also, should I cut off the dead branches? 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    When a plant dies back due to lack of water, you are witnessing the stage it is dying back. Even planted in a pot, there is no need for them to be grown indoors in the winter unless you have excessive frosty nights. They prefer cool conditions, so sounds like it dried out too much. A warm sunny wall against your property or inside a greenhouse.

    For the first week, keep it somewhere shady to get it to acclimatise to the outdoors. By the second week, leave it in semi-shade and then week after in a sunny spot.

    Water it well now, making sure water pours out of the drainage holes and continue to do that over the next few weeks every 3-4 days. Where you see no new growth in the next few weeks, prune them back to where you see growth. That may mean your plant looks lop-sided, but over the year, new growth should slowly balance out. 
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,438
    Cut it back as far as you dare -not the new growth, of course.  It will take a couple of years but olive trees are hardy and shoots will start to grow off the trunk and branches left.  Keep it watered.  It's probably quite sad in a pot.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Thanks for your response guys, I feel much happier about cutting it back now. You’re right, olive trees are very hardy, I really thought I’d let it die but it’s good to see the new shoots coming. If it looks a bit lopsided for a while - then so be it!  :)
Sign In or Register to comment.