Easy methods to Develop, Plant, and Care For Indoor Olive Bushes

In the event you’re an avid inside designer or residence DIY fanatic, you’ve most likely thought of filling an empty nook with an announcement indoor olive tree.

That is one houseplant that’s normally bought for the Mediterranean contact it brings to interiors. Olive bushes aren’t the best to maintain completely satisfied indoors, particularly in the case of lighting, however the wonder they add to houses is plain and, for my part, nicely well worth the effort.

Plant Overview

An olive tree with rich, deep green leaves stands gracefully, basking in natural light. Behind it, a white curtain blind gently diffuses the sunlight, creating a soft, serene ambiance in the room.

Native Space


Watering Necessities


Pests and Ailments

Scale, root rot, verticillium wilt

Soil Sort

Sandy, well-draining

What Is It?

There isn’t a specialised indoor olive tree that solely grows inside. The bushes you’ll see in baskets in minimalist houses on-line are both a model of the usual Olea europaea, or a decorative dwarf selection within the case of shorter vegetation.

Dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties retain many decorative traits of the olive tree you recognize however are extra suited to dwelling inside the confines of a house. The foliage is the spotlight, with slender silvery-green leaves that present a year-round aesthetic attraction.

In contrast to fruiting Olea europaea, dwarf olive bushes are primarily decorative. They’re bred for his or her foliage and compact top and are sometimes unable to supply fruit (which doesn’t occur typically indoors, anyway). Fortunately, this draw back doesn’t take away from their magnificence. Use them to fill empty corners in your house and convey a contact of the Mediterranean to any local weather.

Historical past

An olive tree stands tall in a rustic brown and white fabric pot, its slender branches reaching out gracefully. Positioned against a clean white wall, it exudes a sense of natural elegance.
Olive bushes holds a wealthy historical past spanning 7,000 years, symbolizing peace and victory in Historical Greece.

Olea europaea, as we all know, hails from the Mediterranean. Though we all know it primarily as a supply of meals and oil, its historical past is way extra intricate than that.

Cultivation dates again round 7,000 years in what’s now modern-day Italy and Greece. However proof of olive consumption dates again far longer – round 100,000 years. Because the makes use of of this versatile plant grew, from lamp oil to make use of in magnificence merchandise, the vegetation gained symbolic significance, too.

In Historical Greece, olives have been an emblem of peace, victory, and of the town of Athens itself. As one of many bigger Mediterranean exports on the time, it’s straightforward to see why it was so necessary. Consider the olive department garlands adorning individuals in work or the olive oil used to mild the well-known Olympic flame, and also you’ll have a way of how beloved the olive tree was.

Cultivation unfold rapidly all through the Mediterranean, entrenching itself within the area’s economic system and delicacies. These bushes now develop everywhere in the world, though some argue none as prolifically as these of their native habitat.

Native Space

A brown pot cradles an indoor olive tree, showcasing a tall, slender stem and green leaves. Placed on a pristine white windowsill in a bright room, the scene exudes a harmonious blend of natural beauty against a clean backdrop.
The Olea europaea thrives in Mediterranean climates, providing a dry indoor possibility for houseplant fans.

In case you haven’t already guessed it, Olea europaea is native to the Mediterranean. Right here, the bushes are accustomed to scorching, dry summers, delicate wet winters, and gritty, well-draining soil.

This differs fairly considerably from the tropical circumstances that the majority houseplants are completely satisfied in. Nevertheless, it does present an possibility for houseplant lovers with dry indoor air that might wrestle to develop different vegetation with no humidity increase.

This native space additionally hints at perfect watering instances and soil necessities that can be utilized to recreate the circumstances these vegetation love.


A close-up of slender deep green leaves on an olive tree, their delicate texture catching sunlight. In the background, a blurred pot gently cradles the plant, adding a sense of containment and highlighting the overall harmony of the scene.
The slender, silvery foliage units this tree other than different houseplants.

Indoor olive bushes have the silvery slender foliage and delicate look householders are after, particularly in minimalist designs. Dwarf varieties are normally labeled shrubs fairly than bushes and stick low to the soil, versus normal variations that may attain as much as 30 ft in top.

Dwarf varieties usually don’t produce any fruits and are grown for his or her foliage alone. In the event you do need to harvest olives out of your tree, you’ll want a a lot bigger plant, loads of mild, and the right care to get it proper.

Fruiting indoors is uncommon as a result of differing environments. If fruits are necessary to you, stick with rising outdoor and develop dwarf olives for his or her ornamental worth as an alternative.

The place To Purchase

A nursery scene featuring a lengthy table adorned with rows of brown pots, each cradling a young olive tree. Sunlight gently illuminates the green leaves, casting a warm glow across the foliage, fostering growth and vitality.
They’re fashionable and could be present in native nurseries or on-line.

These bushes are usually straightforward to search out. You need to search for bushes labeled for indoor progress, as these have been bred in environments that mimic our residence circumstances. Whereas it’s potential to take a normal olive tree in a bag and transplant it indoors, you’ll possible have some hassle getting your tree to adapt to this type of surroundings.

As all the time, begin by checking your native nurseries, sometimes within the indoor plant part. Given their reputation, different residence shops are additionally prone to inventory indoor varieties of their houseplant part, relying on the place you reside.

In the event you don’t handle to search out one close to you, a fast search on-line ought to resolve the issue. That is additionally perfect for anybody in search of a particular cultivar, increasing your choices out of your area to the complete nation. Ensure you order from a good vendor if you buy on-line. You don’t need to find yourself with a half-dead olive tree on arrival (or worse, no olive tree in any respect).

Easy methods to Develop

Since circumstances in our houses don’t fairly match as much as their native habitats, these houseplants carry a label of being fussy or tough to develop. Nevertheless, in the event you discover the perfect location, they are often remarkably low-maintenance vegetation as soon as they’ve tailored to your house.


Lush, green leaves of an indoor olive tree gracefully fill a white room, their vibrant hues contrasting with the clean backdrop. The gentle play of soft light accentuates their delicate textures, creating a serene and inviting atmosphere.
Profitable indoor olive tree progress requires ample daylight, ideally from a vivid, south-facing window.

Some of the necessary issues in profitable olive tree progress indoors is daylight.

Whereas most houseplants are accustomed to keen on full shade outdoor, olive bushes are happiest basking within the daylight. They want a place in entrance of a vivid, south-facing window that will get a number of hours of direct solar per day to develop their finest.

Sadly, these sunny positions could be laborious to return by in lots of houses. You too can make an east or west-facing window work if there’s sufficient direct mild publicity, however progress will probably be gradual, and chances are you’ll discover just a few issues (like diminished branches or leaf drop).

One option to counteract the shortage of daylight indoors is with develop lights. These mimic pure mild outdoor to spice up progress. However, since these bushes are giant, you’ll want a big develop mild with loads of protection to make it work.

To cease your tree from stretching or turning into lopsided, rotate the pot barely each couple of days so all sides obtain the identical quantity of sunshine publicity.


A woman wearing a white shirt and brown jumper dress stands gracefully by an olive tree adorned with luscious deep green leaves and ripe olives. Her hand holds a blue water spray bottle, poised to nurture the thriving foliage.
Irrigate solely when the soil is sort of dry.

Olive bushes favor dry and well-draining soil over persistently moist or soggy soil. Over summer season of their native habitats, they develop in dry circumstances with little rainfall. One of many worst issues you can do to those drought-tolerant bushes is overwater them.

To match their native environments, water your indoor bushes solely when the soil has virtually dried out utterly. You don’t need to go away it too lengthy as you danger stressing the roots and inflicting leaf drop. Nevertheless, it’s much better to attend slightly too lengthy than to water when the soil continues to be moist, enormously rising your danger of root rot.

The precise time to water will rely on the circumstances inside your house. For instance, vegetation positioned in entrance of a south-facing window will want water slightly extra continuously than these in entrance of an east-facing window with much less direct mild. Temperature and humidity additionally play a job in progress price and evaporation, which means there is no such thing as a particular ‘excellent’ time to water.

As an alternative, check the soil continuously along with your finger or carry up the pot to find out moisture ranges. As soon as the soil has dried out considerably, you may water once more. Water completely till the surplus seeps out the drainage holes, overlaying the soil evenly to forestall dry patches from forming.


A gentle palm cups soft, gray sandy soil, creating a tender cradle for nature's foundation. Beneath the palm lies a ground of sandy soil, its fine particles arranged in a natural pattern, awaiting growth and nurture.
They thrive in well-draining soil, ideally sandy with added drainage in pots.

Present well-draining soil (and, with that, sufficient drainage within the pot) to forestall water from pooling across the roots. They develop finest in sandy soil that retains some moisture however drains the surplus away rapidly.

I favor to make use of a mixture particularly designed for cacti or succulents, as they’re formulated with supplies to spice up drainage. Drainage turns into much more necessary indoors because the soil doesn’t dry out as rapidly because it does outdoor.  

You too can create your personal combine utilizing a mixture of high-quality potting soil, coarse sand, coconut coir, and perlite. Check the drainage by including water to the combo earlier than planting to ensure it drains nicely sufficient to fulfill your olive tree’s roots.

Temperature and Humidity

An indoor olive tree stands gracefully in a bright white room corner, adding a touch of nature's elegance to the space. Sunlight filters through the window, illuminating the delicate leaves and casting captivating shadows onto the pristine white wall.
Dwarf varieties require constant heat between 65F and 75F (18C and 24C).

Heat is crucial for dwarf olive bushes. They develop their finest in reasonable temperatures between 65F and 75F (18C and 24C). Consistency can also be necessary. Whereas they will tolerate minor fluctuations, sudden or excessive adjustments in temperature can result in stress and leaf drop.

In the event you’re rising them for fruit, necessities differ barely. They want the adjustments in temperatures between seasons to supply flowers and set fruit. Over winter, a slight dip in temperature is required to set off flowering, however excessive chilly or frost may injury the tree, stopping flowering. A fragile steadiness is required – simply one of many explanation why it’s so laborious to get these bushes to fruit indoors.

Olive bushes additionally favor dry air over excessive humidity. Actually, excessively excessive humidity can result in points with fungal illness, particularly if there’s restricted airflow across the tree. It shouldn’t be too low, however humidity round 40% is good. Keep away from holding the bushes in entrance of drafts as this could result in leaf drop.


A close-up captures hands delicately grasping a white bottle filled with liquid fertilizer. With precision, the hands pour the rich, black liquid fertilizer from the bottle into a small, transparent cup, ensuring measured care in the nurturing process.
Applicable fertilization with diluted balanced liquid fertilizer prevents nutrient deficiency.

Olive bushes should not heavy feeders. Nevertheless, as they burn up the vitamins within the soil, they are going to profit from a lightweight software of fertilizer to forestall nutrient deficiency.  

Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half power throughout spring and summer season. As soon as a month is usually sufficient to keep up nutrient ranges within the soil. I take advantage of half-strength doses to keep away from overfertilizing, particularly in olive bushes that don’t thoughts considerably nutrient-poor soil.


A person wearing a brown sweater carefully trims a branch from an indoor olive tree using a pair of black pruning shears. The individual's focused gesture reveals a meticulous approach to indoor gardening and nurturing greenery within living spaces.
Tree pruning helps form the tree and manages pests and ailments.

Pruning will help you handle the form of your tree and sort out any potential pests and ailments indoors. Trim any broken or useless branches and in the reduction of sections to create the general form you’re in search of. Keep away from slicing again greater than one-third of the tree to forestall stress.

Additionally, examine the plant typically (I normally test each time I water) for indicators of pests and ailments, notably fungal ailments that may turn out to be an issue indoors. Deal with any points as quickly as you notice them to forestall unfold to your different vegetation – extra on that later.


A close-up of a hand delicately holding a tiny olive tree branch, its slender fingers gently wrapped around the delicate foliage. The branch, adorned with leaves and intricate roots, reflects nature's intricate beauty in miniature detail.
Propagate from cuttings in late spring for profitable progress.

Woody vegetation should not the best to propagate, particularly if you’re coping with slow-growing olive bushes. Nevertheless, it’s not not possible to propagate if you wish to give it a strive; it simply requires slightly additional persistence.

The simplest option to propagate your olive tree is from cuttings. That is finest finished in late spring after some new branches have developed.  

Select a wholesome, younger department and take away a piece round eight inches lengthy. The slicing ought to have a few leaves on the high part, with the underside leaves stripped off.

As soon as trimmed, dip the reduce finish in rooting hormone. That is elective however extremely useful to stimulate root progress and stop rot in woody slicing.  

Plant your slicing in a well-draining soil combine. I take advantage of equal elements peat moss and coarse sand. Maintain the soil persistently moist and place the slicing in a heat, vivid spot out of direct daylight. Cowl the container with clear plastic to entice moisture and create a greenhouse surroundings to stimulate root progress.

As soon as you notice new progress in your slicing, you may transplant it into common potting soil and a bigger container.


Against a white wall, a slender potted olive tree flourishes, its green leaves vibrant against the backdrop. Adjacent to it, a mirror captures the tree's essence, reflecting its graceful form and natural beauty.
To make sure wholesome progress, repot each three years in a barely bigger pot.

As olive bushes are comparatively gradual growers indoors, they don’t require frequent repotting. Nevertheless, it’s additionally a step you may’t skip altogether. Repotting is often mandatory each three years or so to refresh the soil combine or each time your tree’s roots outgrow the present pot.

Select a pot that’s barely bigger than the present one (not more than two sizes up). Slowly take away the tree from its previous pot by turning it on its aspect. Then, prune any useless or broken roots and replant into the well-draining soil combine talked about above.

This course of rejuvenates the soil, giving the tree contemporary vitamins and house to proceed rising healthily.

Frequent Issues

These aren’t the best vegetation to maintain completely satisfied indoors. You’ll most likely encounter just a few of those issues, however they’re not the tip of the world. As most relate to environmental circumstances, altering positions to a spot that higher matches their native environments can normally resolve the issue.

Discolored Leaves

 A close-up of olive tree leaves basking in the sun's warmth, their green hues accentuated by the light. Amidst the lush foliage, a single leaf stands out with striking discoloration, its vivid yellow tones contrasting against a noticeable brown spot.
Adjustments in leaf shade point out watering points, both extreme or inadequate.

Yellowing or browning leaves sometimes point out watering points, both over or underwatering. Overwatering is extra frequent, but when the leaves are crispy and begin dropping off the plant, you’re most likely underwatering. Spotty discoloration is indicative of a pest or illness drawback or presumably a nutrient deficiency, though that’s uncommon.

Leaf Drop

A close-up of olive tree leaves reveals intricate veins and hues of green, each leaf bearing nature's artistry. The sun's gentle rays cascade over the leaves, casting a warm glow that highlights their delicate texture and natural beauty.
Olive bushes generally endure leaf drop as a consequence of stress from environmental adjustments.

This frequent drawback is a stress response. It’s typically attributable to a sudden change in surroundings, corresponding to temperature fluctuations or a transfer to a brand new location. That’s why olive bushes typically drop their leaves if you deliver them residence for the primary time. However don’t panic – in the fitting circumstances, the leaves will develop again once more.

No Olives

A pristine white kitchen with sleek countertops and cabinetry. In the center, a potted olive tree adds a touch of greenery, enhancing the kitchen's ambiance and bringing natural freshness into the space.
Indoor varieties sometimes don’t fruit as a consequence of difficult-to-replicate indoor circumstances.

Indoor olive bushes typically don’t produce fruit as a consequence of variations in surroundings. In the event you’re rising a purely decorative dwarf species, as is commonly finished indoors, the tree additionally gained’t produce fruit. Flowering and fruiting require particular circumstances which can be difficult to duplicate indoors, so it’s higher to take pleasure in them for his or her foliage alone.


A close-up reveals several brown scales infesting a leaf, showcasing their minute yet damaging presence. These pests, though tiny, pose a threat to the leaf's health and vitality, indicating a potential concern for the plant's well-being.
They’re weak to scale pests, which manifest as brown bumps on confused branches.

Be careful for just a few pests, with the most typical being scale. These pests normally seem when the tree is confused, producing brown bumps on the branches. Often examine the leaves and branches for indicators of an issue and management with neem oil.


A close-up of green leaves of an olive tree. One leaf exhibits signs of a disease with dark spots and distinct yellow borders, highlighting the plant's struggle against potential threats to its health and growth.
Stop fungal ailments via correct drainage and pruning to mitigate humidity-related leaf spot.

Look out for fungal ailments like rot, which is typically attributable to overwatering or poor drainage. Leaf spot may have an effect on the leaves in greater humidity circumstances. Pruning and enhancing air circulation will help forestall these points in the event you can’t decrease the humidity.

Verticillium wilt originates in out of doors circumstances the place younger bushes are uncovered to different contaminated bushes. It’s a fungal illness that causes wilting branches. Whereas uncommon in houseplants, in case your tree turns into contaminated, it’s going to possible die. The most effective street to stopping wilt is to offer correct care. Contaminated bushes ought to be disposed of.


Sure. They’re manageable and fairly low upkeep if their environmental wants are met. However in the event you don’t have the perfect spot, notably in the case of mild, you could have hassle holding them completely satisfied.

Incorrect watering (both an excessive amount of or too little) is the most typical difficulty, together with insufficient mild. Getting these two fundamentals proper will remove quite a lot of the potential issues that may trigger an early dying in olive bushes.

These vegetation develop slowly, normally just a few inches per 12 months, relying on their care and surroundings. Maintain them in direct solar and a bigger container with contemporary soil to spice up progress.

Remaining Ideas

There are some things to recollect to develop this fashionable houseplant efficiently: water solely when the soil dries out, present ample daylight, and hold it in heat temperatures between 65 to 75 levels Fahrenheit (18 to 24 levels Celsius). Quickly, you’ll have a wonderful indoor olive tree to your houseplant assortment!

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