How to Grow Olive Trees in Pots

Olives are natives of the Mediterranean and are widely grown in that region. Their fruit is either pickled and made into the olives we enjoy on pizza or with cheese, or it is pressed to make olive oil. Given the right conditions, olives make attractive potted plants for use indoors or on balconies and patios. If you are planting a potted olive in an area with severe frost, consider bringing the olive indoors for the winter.

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Olive trees grow well in pots.

Step 1

Place the terracotta pot in a sunny area—olives need around 6 hours of sunlight a day.

Step 2

Place a layer of small stones on the bottom of the pot for extra drainage. Fill the pot half full with potting mix, and place the seedling in. Then fill the remainder of the pot to cover the existing roots by about ½ inch.

Step 3

Fertilize the potted olive every month from spring through fall, stopping fertilization before the first frosts of winter.

Step 4

Prune the olive after the spring buds are through and have turned into leaves. Clipping the ends will encourage a full topiary to develop.

Step 5

Repot the olive every year into a larger pot, as olives won't tolerate cramped roots.

Step 6

Watch for soft-bodied scale on the olive—this looks like a white mold covering. A neem oil and soap solution is an effective combatant of scale; simply spray it on the affected areas.