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El olivo como planta de interior
El olivo como planta de interior
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An olive tree as an ornamental plant

September 25, 2018

It may be strange for you to see a potted olive tree. Believe me, it’s a growing trend. It’s characteristic green color makes it a rising stock for interior design. I’ve had quite a few olive trees at home for several years now. The nature of the Mediterranean is a part of my home. I’ll explain how you can do this.

An olive tree may be very appealing to you for decoration purposes. I find an olive tree attractive both for its beauty (it can’t be denied) and for what it represents, for all that it gives us. We need to treat it with respect. Remember that olive trees have developed as outdoor plants with no restrictions. Here goes a list of requirements and the care you need to use so that an olive tree can fit in as an ornamental plant, whether inside or outdoors.

The olive tree is one of the hallmarks of the Mediterranean climate. What does this mean? It will need warmth and especially plenty of sunlight. My living-room faces the south, with plenty of sunlight pouring in. As an interior plant you will need a big window, so it can get at least six hours a day of direct sunlight. If you keep it in an open area it will be even better..

OLIVE TREE: HARDY, THOUGH NOT SELF-SUFFICIENT

You probably think that an olive tree is a tough plant. Don’t get me wrong. It can put up with extreme conditions as far as temperature and drought are concerned, but don’t make life too difficult for a living being that is worthy of our admiration. There is one thing that is non-negotiable: the soil. It must be loose, even with small stones. It needs to drain well. Olive trees won’t take too much water or humidity. Water it often, but without too much water. The top soil should not be damp.

The type of pot you choose is likewise essential. It should be clay, not plastic, so that it drains right. And here goes a trick that I’ve learned over the years: the bigger the pot, the less often you need to move the tree to a larger one. Even though olive trees grow slowly, it’s advisable that the pot be larger than the volume of the soil surrounding the stump. Give your tree some breathing space.

IF YOU WANT OLIVES, BETTER PLANT IT OUT IN THE GARDEN

The dry atmosphere of your home is good for an interior olive tree. However, a steady temperature all year round will not yield fruit. If you want your tree to give you olives, you’ll have to leave the pot outside for a few months.

Another important thing is pruning. Luckily, your tree will be just as healthy if you decide to shape its growth instead of letting it grow freely. If you are going to do any pruning, always do it at the end of winter. I like to remove the branches that sprout out on the lower parts of the trunk—I like to keep the part near the soil clutter free.

If you feel everything related to the Mediterranean, its culture, flora, and history, as your own… having an olive tree in your home will make it a lasting presence. Nature at your fingertips. By following this advice, these ideas mean that you’ll have a plant that can last at least a decade—or even longer, if you take good care of it.

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