Problems With Olive Trees in Pots (and How to Avoid Them)

potted olive tree

Olive trees can exist quite happily in pots. In fact they can grow well and thrive, provided you plant them and care for them correctly. There are more pitfalls to be mindful of when growing them this way, though, as opposed to planting them in the ground.

To help you take great care of your potted olive tree, we’ve compiled a list of problems you might encounter – and provided a solution to help you avoid them.

Over or under-watering

Olive trees may be hardy plants, but they’re sensitive to the amount of moisture in their soil. You have to be really careful not to over or under-water your tree, as it can very quickly have detrimental effects on its health, with leaves dropping off being a typical warning sign.

When your tree is first planted in a pot, we would recommend gently watering it weekly for the first couple of months – or up to three times a week during spring and summer if it’s planted in peat-based or coir compost. This should be reduced heavily in winter – and you shouldn’t ever water when there’s a frost.

As a general rule of thumb, if the soil in your pot is moist, your tree should be happy!

Inadequate drainage

Choosing the right pot is important, as olive trees need a good amount of drainage to avoid the roots getting damaged by excess moisture. We would recommend either a terracotta or wood pot, as they’re more breathable which should help with drainage. To make your tree happier still, raise the pot off the ground to allow water to drain easily.

Bitter cold

Another issue that can plague olive trees in pots is the cold temperatures we experience each winter here in the UK. To keep your tree safe from the cold, insulate the inside of your pot with bubble insulation before you plant it. If it’s already planted, consider investing in a horticultural fleece to keep it warm!

Buy olive trees in pots online

Here at Olive Grove Oundle, you’ll find the UK’s largest range of olive trees in pots – and that’s not all we stock. We also have a range of potted specimen and topiary plants, pots and accessories to help you take care of your tree. Browse our range online today.

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