• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Olea europaea (F)

common olive

  • Other common names common olive
    cultivated olive

    edible olive
    European olive
    lady's oil
    olive oil plant
    sweet oil plant

    see more
  • Family Oleaceae

  • Genus Olea are small or medium sized evergreen trees with simple, opposite leathery leaves. Flowers are in terminal or axillary panicles, and are small, whitish and followed by an ovoid, oblong or globose drupe (fruit).

  • Details O. europaea has a rugged, much-branched habit and slow growth, eventually 4.5-9m. Leaves are narrowly obovate or oval, to 7.5cm long, leathery, silvery beneath. Very small white flowers are borne in axillary racemes to 5cm long. Fruit rarely produced in Britain

  • Plant range Mediterranean

Characteristics

  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H4

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilSand, Clay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread 1.5-2.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in deep, fertile, sharply-drained soil in full sun. Under glass, grow in John Innes No 3 with added sharp sand, in full light

Propagation Propagate by seed in spring at a temperature of 13-15°C (55-59°F). Can also be propagated by semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Gravel Garden Mediterranean Climate Plants Patio & Container Plants Sub-tropical

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1. Under glass prune to restrict size in spring

Pests scale insect may be a problem

Diseases Usually trouble free

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