Olea europaea (olive)

Olea europaea #1 Olea europaea #1

Olea europaea is a good species for beginners. Wild olives, Olea europaea sylvestris, are particularly suited to bonsai due to their smaller leaves.

There are a variety of guides on the internet with contradictory informations on how to grow the olive as bonsai, probably due to the differences in climate from its Mediterranean native region. A good rule of thumbs is to dismiss guides advising to bring the trees inside heated houses during winter.

This species has a peculiar fine root system that grows slowly and don't need frequent repotting, as a consequence the substrate must be very stable to avoid compacting with time. It must also be very draining because the trees don't like the combination of cold and wet soil. Therefor a mix of pumice and pozzolan is well suited. There is less consensus for the best time for repotting, some advise to do it just before spring begin and some prefer the end of spring or early summer when the trees are already growing. The latter opinion seem correlated to locations in colder climates.