Olives in pots
Anyone know how to look after olive trees in pots? What feed do they like, and how and when should they be pruned? I have two, about 5ft tall, in reasonable sized faux lead fibreglass pots. They look a bit sad - poor colour and very loose heads. I know they need feeding but not sure what is best. I would also like to try and make the heads smaller and with tighter growth, like the ones you see for sale, but if I prune hard will they respond or curl up and die!
Olives can be pruned now, a shearing over to tidy them up and then a feed, anything general, but I'd favour a liquid feed. They'll be fine but keep them well watered in dry spells. Despite them being from the Mediterranean they don't like drying out when they're in growth. In winter they can be left very much alone.
Very true about the watering, HC - I don't give mine any at all in Winter.
If they're a bit floppy or untidy then yes, you can give them a light trim now - will also depend what shape you are after, or if you just want the natural look.
You can also pick leaves off directly at the stem - they will regrow fairly fast from the same spot and give the plant a boost (I picked off almost all the leaves from my 6ft potted olive, because they had rust, and now they are all grown back, fresher and greener than ever before).
I feed mine with pelleted fertiliser in Spring - usually a sprinkling of Vitax. Works well. I also water in vine weevil nematodes once a year, as I have had a problem with beetles at the front of the house in the past.
In Greece they grow in very sandy soil, close to the beach, so unless they are always going to be in a pot, they don't need too much feeding.
Last edited: 19 May 2017 16:56:33
Thank you both - interesting about new leaves regrouping from same spot, didn't know that. I'll try Vitax Q4 plus a bit of liquid seaweed then and see what happens, and yes will probably remain in containers.