Bonsai Olive Tree Information.

bonsai olive tree

A Bonsai olive tree may sound like a myth……

How can you Bonsai an olive tree?

Well, its quite simple.

It is true that olive trees do not fit the common Bonsai mould and do not readily spring to mind when considering the world of Bonsai. However, artists do create Bonsai from olive trees and they are as spectacular as any!

The Bonsai olive tree is an amazing tree that rests in history as a beloved and adored tree. Olives feature in Egyptian history and art, Greek and Roman history and a number of historical books from various cultures dating back to early A.D.

The Olive tree in the wild is usually found, or is native to, the Mediterranean. As you’ve probably already guessed, places such as Italy and Greece are home to Olive trees, which grow vigorously.

Like any Bonsai, Bonsai olive trees generally consist of a group of suited species, including the popular Cailletier (black olive) and the Picholene (green olive).

It is a fantastic thing to own a Bonsai olive tree. They are a fruiting tree and will provide you with Bonsai olives! Beware though, watch for pests and disease such as aphids and red spider mites.

Lets look at care instructions for your Bonsai olive tree!

For more information on bonsai Care, click here! Also, learn everything you need to know about Bonsai here!

Soil, Lighting, & Watering

Olives are best suited to neutral soil. The olive is a tough tree that can handle soil that is a little on the acidic or alkaline side, but try and vigilantly maintain the soil’s neutrality.

The soil must have adequate drainage, but must also retain water so to not allow the Bonsai olive tree to dry out. Try using a soil mix that contains 33% Akadama, 33% sand, 33% peat and 1% love. Actually……. more than 1%.......

Olive trees enjoy full sunlight, but as with many species of Bonsai, will not enjoy being placed in full sun straight after a long winter. Wean them onto sunlight!

You must ensure that your Bonsai olive tree is not left out in freezing Winter conditions. They can be quite cold-tolerant, but when temperatures are low enough for frost to form, your Olive will potentially die. Keep it frost free in a greenhouse or warmer shed.

Maintain a constant watering schedule, as with most Bonsai. Once a day should suffice (morning or evening), but not in direct sunlight. Do not overwater and water more regularly in the midst of Summer.


Feed your Olive tree with a low-nitrogen feed throughout the growing season. Once-fortnightly should suffice.


Olive trees do not require a lot of repotting work. They are fairly easy to maintain and do not become an entangled mess of roots.

Repot your olive tree once every 2-3 years.

When your repot your Olive, only trim one third of the root ball. Any more could kill it.

Pruning & Wiring

The Olive is regarded as a tricky pruning candidate, as when an olive branch is trimmed, the new growth that follows can be ugly and coarse.

It is common advice in the Bonsai world to prune and shape your bonsai on a waning moon during Autumn.

Pinch out buds that are facing upwards and downwards. This maintains horizontal symmetry across the branches and will increase ramification along each branch.

Ensure you prune branches that begin to face inwards. Remember that heavy pruning will lead to coarse growth so if you can save a branch through wiring, do so!

Wire after your pruning takes place in Autumn. Olive trees have relatively soft trunks and branches so use raffia when you wire. Raffia is long fibres taken from the Raffia Palm used under wire to protect branches from scarring.

Wire your tree from the trunk upwards and ensure the wire is not too tight.

Most styles will suit the Olive tree except exposed roots and formal upright.

Leave Bonsai Olive tree Information and head back to Bonsai Trees Guide!