If you are looking to buy olive trees online, look no further…Citrus.com has a great selection of olive tree varieties. But wait…what is Citrus.com doing selling olive trees, of all things? Olives aren’t citrus!
Well, that’s true…the olive is actually a “drupe,” or stone fruit. A drupe is a fruit in which an outer flesh layer surrounds a single stone or pit at the center (cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums are other examples). But we love them – and anyway, olive and citrus go together beautifully (if you don’t believe us, try snacking on some citrus-marinated olives, or using lemon or lime juice in place of vinegar with olive oil for an incredibly refreshing salad dressing).
Olives are incredibly diverse and very versatile, whether ground into spreads or tapenades, tossed into salads, simmered in stews and sauces, dropped into martinis or other cocktails, or eaten out of hand. Their sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent flavors are singularly complex, making them an essential tool in any home cook’s arsenal.
Did You Know? Green and black olives actually come from the same plant – black olives are simply over-ripened green olives.
Growing Olive Trees Outdoors
If you decide you’d like to try to grow olive trees in your garden, you’ll certainly be in good company…olives are the most extensively cultivated fruit in the world, far outweighing the cultivation of apples, oranges and lemons.
If you live in USA Growing Zone 8 or above, you can grow your own olive trees in your garden. Pick a sunny spot, as olive trees need full sun to thrive, be ready to amend the soil with compost to improve drainage.
Here are some other tips for planting and growing olive trees outdoors:
- Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the pot your tree comes in, and loosen the roots before setting your tree in the ground.
- Make sure the water doesn’t run off when you water your tree. Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation so the water sinks into the ground and reaches the roots.
- When your outdoor tree begins to bloom (usually in the springtime), feed it every month with a time-released fertilizer.
Did You Know? When grown outdoors, olive trees can enjoy a long lifespan…some have been known to live for over 1,000 years!
Buy Olive Trees for Indoor Growing
Olive trees don’t do well outdoors in cooler climates, but they can be kept in containers and grown indoors (especially the dwarf varieties). While they probably won’t fruit or live as long as their outdoor counterparts, they do make a lovely addition to an indoor garden (some people even grow them as bonsai trees).
Here are some tips for growing olive trees indoors:
- Find a spot in your home that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to serve as a home for your tree.
- Use a large container with drainage holes. Fill it half-full with a good potting mix that drains easily or a sandy mix, such as a cactus potting soil. Put a dish or tray with stones in it underneath the pot so it can drain easily when you water the tree.
- When you can stick your finger about an inch deep into the pot and the soil feels dry, it’s time water your tree. Avoid overwatering.
- Feed the tree once a month in fall and winter with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Feed it twice a month during the spring, or use a timed-release fertilizer. Keep in mind that olive trees grow slowly.
- Indoor trees of all kinds are susceptible to scale, so watch for signs of these sap-sucking insects. If necessary, spray the tree with insecticidal soap.
- Prune the growing tips of your tree if it threatens to outgrow its space and to keep it nice and bushy. If needed, prune out some branches to keep the tree open in the center so the foliage gets plenty of light and air.
Did You Know? Over 90% of the world’s harvested olives are used to make olive oil.