Bring a bit of the Mediterranean into your home

April 9th 2017
By: Melanie Hollidge
Bring a bit of the Mediterranean into your home

Indoor greenery is becoming increasingly popular but while John Lewis predicted that the cactus was going to be the 2017 plant of choice, other oversized plants like the Madagascar Dragon Tree, Fiddle Leaf Fig and Umbrella Plant have found themselves amongst the 10 plants to grow indoors. But another variety is growing in popularity is the humble olive tree (olea europaea). These ancient plants are particularly tolerant of dry air meaning they thrive indoors but can also live outside.  As the warmer weather returns this very adaptable houseplant can bring a touch of the Mediterranean into your St Albans or Harpenden garden.
But be warned, choose wisely as some varieties of olive trees can grow up to 10 feet tall, and while we are championing the notion of 'bigger is better' – a 10-foot olive tree might be pushing it. It is probably best to go for a dwarf variety and keeping them well pruned helps to keep them compact.
Olive trees also need light so they will not thrive in a dark corner. If your St Albans home has that coveted southern exposure, this is the spot for your olive.
If you need to repot your olive it is important to get the right soil, a sandy mix that drains easily such as cactus potting soil is ideal. You need to leave around an inch between the soil and the rim of the pot for watering and drainage is really important for olive trees, so be sure to choose a pot with drainage holes. You know to water your olive when you can put your finger into the soil until it's about an inch deep and the soil feels dry.