Olive Tree Help
I bought an olive tree: I got tempted in the sales at £10 and it seems like a bargain. It's over 6' high. I'd like some advice how to look after it.
1) Should I pot it in a larger pot and if so how much larger; one size up or bigger?
2) Do I prune it and if so when and by how much?
3) It has a couple of suckers; should I remove them? The tree appears to be grafted.
4) The label says it's specially selected from Tuscany. This is a cooler part of Italy so maybe it's more hardy?
5) I intend to bring it in for the winter. I live in Sussex but should I let it get some frost before bringing it in.
This is a new venture for me. Mistake or not? All advice greatley received. Here are some pictures.
Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
One more picture as it didn't come up the first time
Thanks for your reply Philippa.
I know only a little about growing olive trees in England but I do know that my heavy clay, frost or no frost, won't do so it will stay in a pot. I have recently created a Mediterranean style courtyard garden and it would look good here. What are the soil requirements? Manure, fertiliser or what? Growing it hard would seem a good plan (but I know very little). I assume they like it well drained with not too much water during the growing season.
I bought it in Wyevale's sale and they are not known for their specific knowledge.....more selling as much as poss so asking them probably won't be very useful.
I wasn't intending to keep it indoors but could bring it in in really severe weather. As a basic plan, would it be sensible to bring it in towards the end of the year? But then I would need to be very careful about when to move it out to the courtyard in spring? It sounds a good idea to protect the roots with bubblewrap or something in the winter; I hadn't thought of that.
How do we know it is a named cultivar?.....it just says from Tuscany. I guess the fact that it is grafted is a clue.
Lantana, I like the idea of lining the inside of the pot with bubble wrap so it won't be seen.
Another questio, how are olive trees at withstandping cold winds? This is such a new plant to try to grow in England and have so many questions.
I keep two Olive trees approximately the same size in tubs about 30 cm across. They're out on my patio all year round and seem to thrive there, I have quite a few olives on them this year although I doubt it's hot enough for them to ever be edible. The patio is a little sheltered so it's never getting battered by freezing wind but of course the pot is still exposed. I think given that you're so far south this should pose no threat.
I'm not sure about your comment about not watering them much, my experience says otherwise and I water them almost every day. They grow very slowly so I don't believe the size of the pots matters as much as you might think- I don't really want mine getting too much bigger.
I'd be surprised if it is grafted but either way you probably don't want suckers anyway, do you?
Thanks Bob; it sounds as though you are further north than me. My courtyard garden is fairly sheltered but as we are on a hill we do get some quite windy days. I'm now thinking I'll leave it outside for for the winter with bubble wrap protection if necessary.
Thanks everyone who's replied to this thread. This is what I like about the Gardener's World forum; you ask questions and quite quickly you get answers from experienced people. The messages I'm getting are repot it in a more substantial pot and keep it watered in summer so I will now go shopping for a nice pot, line it with bubblewrap and hope for the best. I don't think I'll prune it as I like it's wispiness.
Here is a picture showing the graft.
My Olive Tree is about 18 years old now and it is in a largish ceramic pot.. I neven get a few Olives not that I have ever done anything with them..
Currently I water sparingly daily but not a lot.. This one is from the Bay of Olives and they do not get much rain do they..
I am in the south of the Uk in Essex, it survives frost snow etc fine. Currently its lookibg a bit tatty a few leaves yellowing and dropping off, but it is regularly 40c in my garden so its probably leaf burn..
I have thought about repotting it, but maybe now is not a good time and there will be cheap pots come september hopefully..
Last edited: 16 August 2016 14:59:30
I'd grab one for that price, were there many, are they flogging loads of trees? Which Wyevale? I'm in Sussex. I'm on chalk, and my olive book, seems to suggest they'd be quite happy on that.
It was the Wyevale at Lower Dicker on the A22 near Hailsham. They had a few of these trees. They are also selling their fruit and ornamental trees for half price, but they are so expensive to start with that most are not cheap. They may be open to offers; see this thread for discussion:
What about feeding: how much and how often?
I do not feed much, a handful of Growmore at the begining of the spring..
The Restof the time its just water and maybe once a week something like Tomato food or Miracle Gro feed..