Olive Bonsai

Genus: Olea

Family: Oleacea

Botanical Name: Olea Europea

This tree is considered the king of the trees and is seen as a symbol of peace. It is a Mediterranean species extremely appreciated as Bonsai thanks to its natural contorted and gnarled way of growing, along with its beautiful soft grey bark colour. The Olea Europea is an evergreen with opposite green leaves, which produce small flowers at the end of spring and the well-known olives in early winter.

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Location and Position

An indoor and outdoor specimen, the Olea Europea is a tough tree, but it dislikes freezing temperature and requires protection during the winter. It is best grown outdoors from spring to autumn and positioned in full sun in the summer. However, it can be grown indoors all year round.


This tree suits most styles, such as informal upright, slanting, root over the rock, twin-trunk, and forest, just to mention few.


Keep the soil moist but be careful not to make it too wet.


Feed the tree every two weeks from spring to autumn.

Pruning and Pinching

Vigorous growths from the cut area could be the result of pruning during the growing seasons (spring and summer). Pruning for shape is best done after the second growth is completed and the tree is dormant.

Pinching, on the other hand, is best done while the tree is in its growing mode and is generally practised on new growths by cutting them back to the second or third whorls. This technique will encourage short internodes and smaller leaves.

Repotting and Soil

Repot every two or three years in the spring and trim about one-third of the root ball, along with a proportional number of old leaves. Choose a porous soil to retain humidity, such as Akadama on its own or mixed with horticultural sand in a ratio of 1:1.


Wiring should be attending to during the dormant period so as not to damage of the branches and create ugly scars. To avoid snapping branches, use raffia on heavier branches, which are more rigid than the young ones.


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