Olea europaea (Olive) is an ornamenal evergreen tree or shrub. It can grows up to 6 m in height. In indoors, planted in a pot, you can keep it much smaller. Dwarf olive trees only grow to 6 ft. Olea europaea tree branches are covered with attractive, narrow, gray-green leaves that grow 2 to 8 cm long. The undersides of the leaves are covered with fine hairs. The small, white, feathery blooms, with ten-cleft calyx and corolla, two stamens, and bifid stigma, are borne generally on the previous year’s wood, in racemes springing from the axils of the leaves. The fruit is a little drupe 1 to 2 cm long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage. A bonsai olive tree also makes a wonderful accent for a bright
Scientific Name: Olea europaea
Common Names: Olive
How to grow and maintain Olea europaea (Olive):
It thrives best in full sun. Growing olive trees need as much direct sunlight as possible year-round. Turn your plant every week in front of the window to ensure even growth. Moving your plant to a sun-drenched porch or patio for the summer will give it a boost.
It grows well in well-draining, sandy soil. Try to use a bonsai soil or a mix of loam, peat moss, and sand at a ratio of 2:1:1.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always keep the soil evenly moist but never allow your plant to sit in water. You can allow the topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering.
It prefers an average to warm temperature between 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit / 18 – 24 degrees Celsius. It will tolerate a minimum of 40°F / 4°C. Plants should be brought indoors during the winter.
Feed every 2 weeks in spring and summer with a bonsai fertilizer or use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Fertilize once a month in winter.
Prune back new shoots to 2 pairs of leaves when they have 8 pairs of leaves. Pruning olive trees long branches will promote vigorous new growth and an attractive shape. Since olives grow mainly in the spring and autumn pruning is best done in earlyautumn or early spring.
Re-pot every two to three years in the spring, and root prune at the same time.
It can be propagated by seed or by cuttings. Sow seeds or take stem tip cuttings in spring. Take a 4 in (10 cm) stem tip cuttings with two to three leaf nodes. Dip cut end in hormone rooting powder before inserting in moist potting mix. Olive tree cuttings do not root easily.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for aphids, black scale, and spider mites.
Benefits of Olea europaea (Olive):
- Olea europaea leaves have been utilized as a part of the human diet as an extract, an herbal tea, and a powder. They contain numerous potentially bioactive compounds that have antioxidant, antihypertensive, antiatherogenic, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, and hypoglycemic properties.
- Olive leaf has the ability to reverse years of damage to your
skin and the signs of aging. Because of the olive leaf’s
antioxidant properties, it helps to prevent certain kinds of
cell damage, particularly those caused by oxidation.
- Olive oil additionally has vitamin A and E. Olive leaves contain several beneficial flavonoids, including quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol, and also it contains linoleic acid, a fatty acid that helps it moisturize. Because of its unique ability to mix with water, the oil penetrates deeply to help your skin stay moisturized without clogging pores.
- Olive leaves show an important role as a natural cancer
treatment because of its ability to stop the angiogenic
process, which stimulates the growth of tumors. The compound oleuropein has an antioxidant and anti-angiogenic effect by inhibiting the reproduction and migration of advanced tumor cells.