Olea europaea

Common Olive

Ideal as a specimen in a Mediterranean garden, Olea europaea is a medium-sized, slow-growing, evergreen tree with a gnarled trunk and airy, open habit. The leaves are leathery and a silvery grey-green. In summer, the tree carries inconspicuous white flowers, but the tree rarely sets fruit this far north. Common olive does best in protected courtyards or warm city gardens. It can also be grown in soil-based compost with plenty of grit in a large container, and this is a good way to grow it if you experience cold winters, as it can be brought into a greenhouse or well-lit porch. Very drought-tolerant once established, but it will appreciate a good drink in dry spells, especially if in a pot. Needs minimal pruning, although pot-grown specimens may need more.

Site: Sheltered, south-facing; good against a warm wall
Soil: Any very well-drained soil
Position: Full sun
Season of interest: All year
Hardiness: Fairly hardy, but not for cold, exposed areas
Height: 33’ (10m) Spread: 33’ (10m) in 20-50 years, but rarely reaches this size in Ireland

Type | Size: Pot | 9cm
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