Our beautiful Arbequina or Frantoio olive trees are approx. 2 years old and are growing in tall pewter colored metal pots and average 16-20" tall. They are ready to be transplanted in springtime into larger pots or into the ground.
Growing Olive Trees
Olive trees need full sunshine and do well in areas of hot dry summers. They also do very well in temperate coastal areas. They can be grown in containers as well as in the ground just make sure to allow enough room for them to grow up to 6-8 feet tall and bear in mind they can only tolerate winter temperatures down to 15 degrees. If your winter is colder than that, they may be brought indoors for protection.
When you plant your olive tree in a container, make sure to use well draining potting soil along with a 25% mixture of good compost (such as black cow or worm castings)
Olives grow rather slowly but can eventually grow to a fairly large tree so plant them approximately 12-15 feet from houses or walls. They can also be grown as a multi trunk or branching form by pinching the topmost growing point.
Fruit: The olive fruit is green, becoming generally blackish-purple when fully ripe. Raw olives contain an alkaloid that makes them bitter and unpalatable. Thinning the crop will give larger fruit size. This should be done as soon as possible after fruit set. Thin until remaining fruit average about 2 or 3 per foot of twig. The trees reach bearing age in about 4 years total growth.
Best Zones for Olives are zones 8-11 but they will grow well in protected locations in zone 7.