Evergreen plant native to the Mediterranean basin, with small elongated oval gray-green leaves, gray wrinkled trunk, which darkens with the age of the plant, and gnarled branches; in nature it grows up to 10-15 meters, very long-lived. In spring, many varieties produce insignificant whitish flowers, followed by green fruits, which ripen to black. It is not a plant traditionally used as a bonsai, however remarkable specimens can be obtained; it is also recommended for beginners, as they do not have particular needs.
Pruning: it is advisable to prune in early spring or autumn, to avoid pruning branches that already bear flowers or fruit. The shoots should be topped throughout the spring and summer leaving 2-3 pairs of leaves. The ligatures with the metal wire can be performed all year round.
Exposure: the olive tree loves positions in full sun, possibly windy. It is a fairly rustic plant, which can withstand temperatures even slightly below zero, during the winter it is advisable to keep it sheltered from frosts, placing it in a cold greenhouse or covering it with non-woven fabric.
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Watering: this plant grows in places with a dry climate, but also likes abundant watering; it is advisable to water it copiously, letting the soil dry out a lot between one watering and the next. Bonsai fertilizer is added to the watering water every 15-20 days, from May to September.
Land: the olive tree has no particular soil requirements, as long as it is well drained. We can prepare an optimal compound by mixing three parts of peat, two parts of sand and two parts of clay. Repot every three years at the end of winter, avoiding cutting the roots too much or moving the bread of earth that covers them too much, because they are particularly delicate.
Multiplication: occurs by sowing the fruit kernels, to be practiced in summer, the seedlings are repotted the following year, in spring. It is also possible to practice cuttings in spring, to be placed in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, to keep moist until rooting has taken place. The olive trees grown in nature often produce suckers from which it is possible to obtain new plants, sometimes suitable for cultivation as bonsai.
Pests and Diseases: the olive tree grown as a bonsai can suffer from root rot if the soil in the pot is kept too moist. It is hardly affected by parasites or other diseases.
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