You want your olive tree to have the best chance to thrive. But to do that, you need to know how to protect it against the elements. With the largest selection of olive trees in the UK, the experts from Olive Grove Oundle are answering your questions to help your tree thrive whatever the weather.
Can olive trees grow in the shade?
You probably already know that olive trees like the sun. They lap it up. And that’s why you find them growing in abundance across the Mediterranean – in Spain, Greece and Italy. But can they survive in the shade? To an extent, yes. But to give your olive tree the best chance at healthy growth, it needs to be exposed to as much sunshine as possible. That’s true even for indoor olive trees.
What temperature will kill an olive tree?
It could be easy to assume that an olive tree can’t survive in colder climes. However, an olive tree temperature range can fall as low as -15ºF for a mature tree. Younger olive trees can survive in temperatures as low as -12ºF. In fact, olive trees need a cold spell in order to flower.
However, anything below the above-mentioned temperatures can kill an olive tree. If it’s a particularly cold autumn or winter, you can wrap your olive tree in a horticultural fleece. For potted plants, it’s worth adding a fleece around the pot, too. Or, you can move your tree indoors for a short period of time.
Do olive trees need protection from frost?
While olive trees can withstand cold temperatures, they do need protecting from frost. If the roots become frozen, they won’t be able to absorb any water.
Most importantly, olive tree roots need to be protected from becoming waterlogged. Watch out for rainy days. If it snows, watch that when the snow melts, it doesn’t drench the soil.
For both of these reasons, it’s important to ensure the soil around your olive plant is well drained.
Are olive trees wind-resistant?
Strong, cold winds can be particularly damaging for an olive tree, as this can split the bark. We recommend placing your olive tree in a south or west facing direction, away from northern and easterly winds if possible.