Olive Bonsai is an exotic variety for many bonsai growers.
Olive is a fruit bearing evergreen tree which is found mainly in the Mediterranean regions of Spain, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Syria, and also found in parts of Asia and Africa.
It is popular owing to its fruit and flower bearing capabilities. It generally bears white flowers during the summer season, which is then followed by green olive fruits.
Another important aspect of olive is that they are suitable for almost any kind of bonsai style except the broom style. Then can also be grown for different sizes. Olive trees generally grow to very old age, like the one in Ithaca, Greece which is believed to be around 1500 years old.
Olive trees are cultivated since a very long time as they are used in producing olive oil and the fruits are also widely used in many cuisines. In addition the olive leaves are also known to have medicinal qualities.
Olive Bonsai Care
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The easiest way of propagating olive is by cutting or layering from existing plants. It is comparatively difficult to propagate the tree from seeds.
Olive is comparatively difficult to prune. Pruning of stems usually leads to very rough and congested growth at the cut site. The most appropriate time to prune an Olive plant is during the spring season. Wiring should generally be carried out once the trees are 2 to 3 years old. This should be generally carried out during the fall and spring season
Olive is very resistant to drought conditions. Once watered properly it needs to be re watered only after it has gone completely dry. Watering requirements would also depend on the kind of soil used and also on the kind of climate found in your area. Olive must be kept in full exposure to the sun. Olive is not very tolerant to frost and should be protected during the winter season.
Bonsai Olive plant should be repotted every 2 to 3 years. While repotting you should consider removing 1/3rd of the old roots and leaves to promote new growth. Ensure that you choose a proper pot for your olive bonsai.
It is not advisable to keep the Olive tree in wet conditions, so you should ensure that the soil does not have a lot of organic components. Olive prefers calcareous soil; hence you could consider mixing limestone components to the soil base.
Pests and Diseases:
Olive trees are prone to fungus attack and pest attack; hence proper care must be taken to protect the tree.
You should consider using fertilizers for your olive bonsai through the spring to autumn season. It is generally advisable to avoid feeding during the winter season.