How to sow an olive tree?

A technique that requires a little patience, sowing an olive tree allows you to become aware of the magic of nature, which, from a simple seed, is capable of producing a majestic tree. Let’s see how to proceed to succeed in this sowing in the best way.

Young olive tree plant in pot
Young olive tree plant in pot

The choice of olives

To sow an olive tree you will have need a fully ripe olive, very black and starting to wrinkle. The harvest period corresponds to a window comprised between october and december according to variety and the region.

This olive will obviously be taken from a tree and not in a box or a blister from the supermarket because once seasoned and put in brine, the germination power will no longer be there!

If there is no productive olive tree around your home, think about stock exchanges like our Jarditrocbecause sites specializing in the sale of seeds rarely offer this type of product.

The necessary stratification

The olive pit is protected by a thick envelope that will have to be softened to start the germination process.

Nature being well done, there are many seeds in this case.

The dormancy embryo will only be completed when the integument surrounding them wears out and permeabilizes over the months and climatic hazards, to finally break through and allow germination when optimal conditions are met and the seeds will have every chance of recovery . It will therefore be necessary to artificially reproduce this natural phenomenon.

How to stratify an olive pit?

It is wise to stratify multiple nuclei in order to multiply the chances of success because the sowing of olive trees remains somewhat uncertain.

Start by removing the flesh and cleaning the core.

Two methods are then available to you:

1- Stratification in sand

  • Prepare a terracotta pot that you will have filled with medium-grained river sand.

  • Gently rub the olive pit on sandpaper to make it porous and facilitate the process of stratification.

  • Push your core into the pot containing pre-moistened sand.

  • Place a small mesh or put on a stocking over your pot to prevent rodents and other small animals from rummaging around.

  • Install your pot flat along a north-facing wall.

2- Stratification in the refrigerator

  • After preparing your core (removal of the flesh, cleaning, light sanding), wrap it in damp paper towel.

  • Place the assembly in an unsealed plastic box in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for 3 months.

When and how to sow olive trees?

Wait for March/April to get your core out of its stratification period.

  • Prepare a pot that is deeper than it is wide to promote good root development.

  • Arrange a layer of gravel at the bottom then fill it with a very light mixture made up of potting soil special sowing or a homemade mixture comprising 1/3 potting soil for 2/3 river sand. the substrate must be very draining because the olive tree hates having its roots constantly soggy.

  • Push the core 1 cm into the substrate in the center of the pot, then cap and tamp it down. The tip of the core should be up.

  • Water to thoroughly moisten the mixture.

  • Place the pot in a very bright room at a temperature of 20°C.

After sowing olive tree

Make sure the substrate never dries out completely during the germination period and when the seedling appears, it could ruin your efforts. Be careful because this very draining substrate dries quickly!

Continue to water the small olive tree regularly, allowing the surface of the mixture to dry out by 2 cm between two waterings.

If necessary, repot in early summer, always in a draining mixture but a little richer (3/4 potting soil and 1/4 sand). Again, the container should be deeper than it is wide.

Place your olive tree outdoors in a shaded area in summer without forgetting to water it.

Install it in a nursery or in a greenhouse, a veranda or a winter garden that is not very heated but remains frost-free during the cold period. Be very parsimonious when watering to prevent the plant from rotting.

Water only when the substrate is almost dry and remove the cup.

The following spring repot if necessary or plant your olive tree in a well-sheltered area of ​​the garden in well-drained soil if you live in a mild area.

Elsewhere, wait another year before planting your olive tree in the ground or keep it in a container to overwinter frost-free.

Could I get olives from my olive tree seedling?

Yes, however, patience is required, because it takes at least 7 years for the olive tree to start producing olives if the heat and sunshine conditions are there and if other olive trees are in the area to ensure good pollination.

Grafting can reduce this wait to 3 or 4 years.

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by

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