I have an olive tree that was a mail order gift about four years ago. Unusually for mail-order florist "living plant" deliveries, this one has survived more than a few months! It came with two olives on it to prove that it was an olive tree, but I haven't seen any signs of flowers or olives since!

Location: North Texas. We do get winter frosts, so it is in a pot which comes in for winter. The rest of the year it is on the deck and gets a lot of sun from mid-morning to early evening. It is also quite thirsty. Thirst is partly due to the summer heat, but when it dries out it does drop its leaves. This has only happened a couple of times and the leaves come back again, but I wouldn't be surprised if this prohibits flower buds for the year.

When it comes in for winter, it will get some morning sun, but not a huge amount. The house windows are not very good for plants.

It gets a liquid fertilizer perhaps once a year. I gave it some about a month ago, whilst doing the young pepper plants.

So what can I do to encourage flower growth?

1 Answer 1


I would stay away from fertilizing, olive trees usually should be left alone, they especially do not need any nitrogen. One thing I would try is olive trees usually need a kick in the butt, what I mean by that is allow the olive tree to actually sit in a cool type of weather. Usually let it sit out around 50s all the way upto 60s.

You are probably getting nice green leaves with no flowers whatsoever. That is generally the case if you are putting it out in temperatures higher then 65. Try it out you will notice it flower due to these conditions.

  • Thanks. I haven't used fertilizer very often (I rarely do anyway), but I was just thinking it has been the same soil for a few years, so it might need a little something. I'll stop for now. I'll keep it out a little longer for cooler weather. Last time I tried keeping something out for longer to force flowers, were a load of hippiastrum - and that resulted in them dieing!
    – winwaed
    Jun 13, 2011 at 18:05
  • Its rather strange olive trees like the cold weather. You may be able to find more information through a google search about olive trees in cold weather. I hate to make guarantees but I'll bet my gardening points that if you keep them in the cool weather you will be amazed at the flowering you will see.
    – JonH
    Jun 13, 2011 at 18:26
  • Follow up: We have lots of flower buds on the olive tree! The tree went into winter in a healthy state (previously dehydration resulted in low leaf counts); and I left it in the courtyard in the new house. Combination of a mild winter and sheltered outdoor location appears to have given it just enough chilling to produce flower buds.
    – winwaed
    Apr 3, 2012 at 13:09

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