The Best Conditions For A Sweet Olive Tree To Grow Healthy And Strong

If you're looking for a plant that's small in size, but big in fragrance, the sweet olive tree is just the right one for you. It may not come as a surprise that the sweet olive tree is part of the olive family, oleaceae. It's also known as the tea olive or fragrant olive tree. The sweet olive is an evergreen tree that doubles as a shrub. With its low-hanging branches, this plant's growth habit is similar to the shape of a vase, and it needs plenty of sun, moist, well-drained soil, and spring pruning to become healthy and strong.

The sweet olive tree is hardy in zones 7B to 9B, and it's known to grow between a height of 15 to 30 feet and spread at a width of 15 to 20 feet. It produces subtle white flowers on its branches that are extremely fragrant with an apricot-like scent. They bloom from fall to spring, depending on where they are located. The good news for the low-maintenance gardener is that the sweet olive tree can fare well with neglect. The tree adjusts to poorer quality soil and different moisture levels, but creating the ideal growing conditions will help it look its best.

Creating the best growing conditions for a healthy sweet olive tree

If you're considering growing a sweet olive tree, you'll need the right conditions to prevent pests like scale insects and to grow full foliage with lots of sweet olive flowers. To start, the sweet olive enjoys full to partial sun. The density in which its foliage grows is highly dependent on how much light it receives. For dense growth with fuller foliage, grow sweet olive in full sun. If you don't mind a leaner look to your tree, sweet olive can grow in partial shade.

The tree's soil should be well-drained and kept moist. It's also helpful to know that part of caring for a sweet olive flower is understanding that the blossoms grow on old branches. This means that if you want a flourishing floral display for the following year, it's best to prune the tree in the spring to give new buds time to form. You can also enjoy the fragrant scent of the sweet olive's flowers by growing the tree in a container. This plant can be a part-time resident of your home during the winter to shelter it from cold weather. Sweet olive can also be grown indoors year round as a houseplant to keep your home smelling fresh. Inside, you can expect its evergreen foliage to beautify a room while you enjoy intermittent blooming in the winter.

How to enjoy your healthy sweet olive tree

Once you've optimized the sweet olive tree's growing conditions, it's time to consider how to make the most of having this versatile tree in your home and garden. To bask in its fragrant scent to the fullest, you can plant the tree near windows so the sweet, apricot aroma catches a ride on breezes floating into your home. Their scent also makes the trees tantalizing companions in an outdoor patio sitting area. 

Moreover, sweet olives can be used for accent planting to draw attention to a particular area of your garden or even as a clipped hedge you can plant for privacy in your yard. With its shrub to tree versatility, its sweetly scented flowers, and edible fruit, the sweet olive tree is hard to pass up as an addition to your home and garden. When grown under the right conditions, this long-lived plant is sure to bring you and your garden guests plenty of joy.