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Olive Tree dropping leaves indoors

dilbydilby Posts: 69
Hi all- I have an olive tree trimmed as a standard indoors. I had just had a new extension built that is flooded with light and decided to add one after reading they can work indoors with enough light. It really does a great job visually of bringing the outside in. So far it’s seemed happy enough, however it’s dropping a lot of leaves and I’m trying to work out what is a normal amount to accept. I’ve got olive trees outdoors but it’s not something I really monitor when they’re outside; but once they’re in any leave on the ground you notice! I think at the start I was guilty of overwatering a little bit reckon it’s pretty right now (am monitoring with a gauge to be double sure) but leaves drop daily. It I give the trunk a shake then it’d drop a whole bunch. What do you kind folks say is a normal amount to accept? Does anything sound suspect there or is this maybe another reason they’re not ideal as an indoor plant!


  • I am not an expert of any kind, but I have had similar problems in the past with ficus benjamina dropping leaves when moved. It's the shock, I think. The leaves all dropped overnight. They did regrow, but it was never the same again. I know olives aren't the same thing, but they are trees which grow in full mediterranean sunshine, and I'd imagine that the reduction of light or change in temperature might upset them in the same way. Someone else will know better, I'm sure, but I just wanted to say that sudden leaf drop and shock are connected.
  • I recently purchased a multi meter,  it does light as well as pH & moisture.  Even in a greenhouse,  it's amazing how much the light drops inside compared to outside,  especially on a cloudy day. I  agree the sudden change in conditions may be adding to your problem. 
    AB Still learning

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited September 2021
    I don't think olives are ever recommended for indoors - or with citrus
  • No, I have two outside, and I can't imagine them surviving indoors.
  • Olives are really not indoor plants. They are hardy in most of the UK so if you can leave it outside and it will stop dropping leaves. I see them being used by stylists on Instagram and want to scream every time. If you have to keep it in (central heating will cause more damage) then get hold of a grow light. But if you have the space outside just place it to be visible from the inside. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,070
    I agree with @amancalledgeorge, although I'd dispute them being hardy in most of the UK.  ;)
    Outside in summer and inside in winter in a colder area, but it would need to be in an unheated space - central heating would be hideous for them.
    Outside all year round in mild areas seems to be ok for them, near house walls helps,  but you'd need to be ready to protect them in colder/wetter spells in winter. That's when they'd need some help and when it becomes a bit trickier. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Yes agreed excessive wetness would probably damage them...bonny Scotland provides a lot of that 🤣
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,070
    Not this year @amancalledgeorge. It's been hideously hot and dry here. We just aren't used to that, particularly in the west! Yesterday and overnight has made up for it a bit.
    Not terribly autumnal yet though - another weird experience, as it's usually autumnal in early August here.  The rowans have been red for ages, but I reckon that was down to stress with the dry July, rather than the normal weather.
    I hope this isn't going to be the norm.  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • It has been very challenging this year...and yet don't think it has been a wake up call for the majority. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • I've a feeling there may not be 'a norm' in the future  :/

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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