Common Olive (Olea europaea)



The Common Olive (Olea europaea) is a hardy, full sun-loving tree that is a stunning addition to the landscape during any season. Spring flowers give way to summer fruits which mature and ripen to a deep purple-black color in fall. The evergreen leaves provide year-round interest, and the tree is drought-tolerant once established. This stately tree typically grows 22-32 feet tall and wide.


What is Common Olive tree?

If you’re looking for a Mediterranean feel in your garden, the common olive tree is a perfect choice! These stately trees can grow up to 22-32 ft. tall, and they perform best in full sun. They’re also drought tolerant once established, making them a low-maintenance option for busy gardeners.

In addition to being a charming addition to any garden, olive trees are also one of the most versatile trees around. They can be grown in coastal gardens, city gardens, gravel gardens, Mediterranean gardens, or even in containers. And if you want to harvest fruit from your tree, you’ll get the best yields by planting two different varieties (olive trees are self-pollinating, but cross-pollination increases yields significantly).

Best of all, common olive trees are relatively disease-free. The only thing to watch out for is scale insect, which can be a problem if your tree is stressed. Luckily, scale insect is easy to control with regular applications of horticultural oil.

If you’re interested in growing your own common olive tree, they can be propagated by seed in spring or by semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Just make sure to plant them in well-drained soil, as olive trees are not tolerant of wet conditions.

This handsome tree is known for its gnarled trunk, silvery foliage, and spreading crown.


Common Olive Information

Olea europaea (Common Olive) is an evergreen slow-growing tree popular in Mediterranean gardens. Known for its beautiful habit, gnarled trunk, silvery foliage, and spreading crown, Olea europaea is a handsome addition to any landscape.

The leaves of the plant are gray-green and measure 2-3 inches in length. During the seasons, they grow up to 6-8 cm in length, are silvery underneath and are beautiful all year round. The small, fragrant, white flowers appear in axillary racemes throughout the summer months. The fruit of the olive tree is a drupe, which is the well-known olive fruit that comes in various sizes and shapes. In order for olives to produce the best fruit, they need good summer temperatures.

Common olive trees are one of the longest-lived and most resilient of all trees. They can either be grown as informal trees or as formal standards. Despite their toughness, they make ravishing hedging and can withstand neglect in containers if they are not cared for well.

Common Name

Common Olive, Cultivated Olive, Edible Olive, European Olive, Lady’s Oil, Olive Oil Plant, Sweet Oil Plant

Botanical name

Olea europaea

Plant Type



Mediterranean region

Mature Height

22′ – 32′

Mature Width

18′ – 30′

Growth Rate



Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries

Common Olive Features
Olea europaea (Common Olive) grows slowly in Mediterranean gardens.
This handsome tree is known for its gnarled trunk, silvery foliage, and spreading crown.
Summer brings small, fragrant, white flowers in axillary racemes.
The olive fruit is known as the drupe, which comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. 
You can grow them as informal trees or as formal standards.
If not properly cared for, they make ravishing hedging and can withstand neglect in containers.

Growing and Care Guide

Common Olive Requirements

Hardiness Zones

8 – 10

Sun Exposure

Full sun

Water needs




Soil Type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Common Olive (Olea europaea) is a beautiful evergreen tree that can thrive in a variety of soils and conditions. It is relatively low maintenance, and its striking fruit and foliage make it a great choice for any garden. Here are some tips on how to grow and care for your Common Olive tree:

  • Place your tree in an area that receives full sun for best results.
  • Water your tree regularly, but be sure not to overwater as this can lead to problems.
  • Soil type is not too important, but Common Olive trees do best in well-drained soil.
  • Fertilize your tree annually with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Prune your tree as needed to shape it and remove any dead or damaged branches.

With a little care, your Common Olive tree will thrive and provide you with years of enjoyment.


Companion Plants

If you’re looking to add some more greenery to your home, why not consider companion plants for common olive trees? These plants can provide both aesthetic and functional benefits to your olive trees, and can help to create a more diverse and interesting landscape. Plus, they can help to improve the overall health of your olive trees by providing them with additional nutrients and water.

Some great companion plants for common olive trees include:

Rosemary: Rosemary is a hardy evergreen shrub that can provide both shade and privacy for your olive trees. It’s also known for its ability to help improve the health of nearby plants.

Thyme: Thyme is another hardy evergreen shrub that can help to provide your olive trees with both shade and privacy. It also has a number of health benefits, including the ability to improve the health of nearby plants.

Oregano: Oregano is a perennial herb that can help to improve the health of your olive trees. It has a number of other benefits as well, including the ability to deter pests and improve the flavor of your olive oil.

Lavender: Lavender is a beautiful flowering plant that can add a touch of elegance to your olive trees. It’s also known for its ability to improve the health of nearby plants.

These are just a few of the many companion plants that can be used to improve the health and appearance of common olive trees. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect plant to complement your trees.


Where to Buy Common Olive and Price list

The price of Common Olive trees varies depending on the variety and the age of the tree. The most common olive tree, the Spanish olive, can cost anywhere from $60 to $200. The more rare and ancient olive trees can cost much more.

If you’re looking for a place to buy a Common Olive tree, you can find them online at a number of different retailers. You can find these trees at online nurseries, garden centers, and even some online retailers that specialize in trees. When you’re looking for a Common Olive tree, be sure to check out the different retailers to find the best deal.


Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly does Olea europaea grow?

In most cases, olive trees begin to bear fruit after 3 – 5 years of age. As a general rule, it takes about two months for the anthesis process to be triggered in cold conditions. The olive tree needs to be kept in as much sun as possible in order to begin growing fruit, so be sure to keep them in as much sunlight as possible. Pollination, on the other hand, may prove to be a problem for you.

Where should you plant an olive tree?

It is recommended that you plant your olive tree outdoors where it will receive a minimum of 6-8 hours of sunlight each day, ideally full sun all day with plenty of light for your olive tree to thrive. Olive trees do not tolerate heavy, clayey soils, so you need to choose a site with very well-drained soil because they do not tolerate heavy, clayey soils either.

Do olive trees grow well in pots?

The trees are very fast-growing and are drought tolerant, which means they are perfect for pots and containers as they are easily adaptable. Olive trees are best grown in containers in spring, after all threats of frost have passed, which is the ideal time to begin growing them.

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