Olive Care

Olive trees are long-lived, shallow-rooted, slow-growing evergreens. They are perennials in zones 8-10 (15-22 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Scientific name: Olea europaea


  • Average mature height: 30 feet high and 25 feet wide
  • Container growing: Choose a large pot that's about two feet in diameter and has good drainage. Prune the tree to size.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize March through August. For container growing, use a slow-release fertilizer.
  • Light: Plant in the sunniest spot available. Olives do not tolerate a lot of shade.
  • Soil: Free-draining soil that is never soggy is best for olives. They are drought tolerant once they are established.

Learn about which varieties benefit/don't benefit from cross-pollination and which varieties are ideal pairs from the University of California's Agricultural and Natural Resources site.

Shop for olives at Wellspring Gardens.

Wish your thumb were a little greener? Visit our plant care page and become a gardening guru in no time.