Best Soil For Olive Trees in Pots – Beginner’s Guide

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If you are looking for growing an olive tree indoors you must have asked yourself, what is the best soil for olive trees in pots? Based on feedback from tree growers, to achieve the top results, the best soil for olive trees in pots is a commercial well-draining potting mix. One of the reasons why a potting mix is a great option for planting olive trees in pots because it has adequate spaces between particles. As a result, it ensures root penetration, smooth water, and nutrition circulation essential for healthy tree life. As well, olive tree growers must make sure to maintain enough soil nutrients for indoor olive trees because potted trees have access to a limited amount of soil. So make sure you care and maintain the potted tree properly.

In addition, improving the soil for your potted olive tree can come in the form of adding organic manure or even olive tree fertilizers. Therefore, whether for growing olive trees in pots indoor or outside, I strongly suggest you go with a commercial potting mixture.

So, by the end of this article, you will have the information necessary to answer that question, prepare and test your soil correctly, and care for your olive tree in a pot. As a result, your olive tree will grow vigorously and you will enjoy the gardening results.

best soil for olive trees in pots

What is the Best Soil for Olive Trees in Pots?

A well-drained potting mix is the best soil for olive trees in pots. Such potting soil is a mix of equal parts of peat, sand, perlite or bark, and organic matter. As well, it can be a mixture of sand, silt, and clay. These are the structures you need to allow water and air circulation, as well as the formation of adequate root systems for nutrient uptake.

Best Soil for Olive Trees Requirements

SOIL TYPEA mixture of sand, silt, and clay;
various loamy soils including sandy loam, clay loam, silt loam, and silty clay loam
SOIL pHIdeal neutral 6 – 8 pH
SOIL DRAINAGEWell-draining;
make sure you have pots or containers with drainage holes
This table shows the best soil requirements for your olive tree in pots or planted in a ground

best soil for olive trees in pots
Above: the potting mix is the best soil for olive trees in pots that helps to boost its healthy growth

For example, large size particles have a larger space between them and provide plenty of air to the roots of an olive tree. On another hand, plenty of small particles hold on to required moisture. To be honest, the potting mix is better draining than the average garden soil.

The ideal potting mixture will also contain micronutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphates, which are complemented by micronutrients.

When choosing the best commercial potting mixture it’s always worth checking the ingredients written on the package. Truth is, that potting mix with too much soil in it may be too moisture retentive to make an ideal potting medium.

For instance, many good products for trees and bushes you can find at Fast Growing Trees. Here is an all-natural mix for growing lush, healthy trees and plants:

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Also, I selected an olive tree dedicated potting mix available on Amazon:

Last update on 2023-02-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Making a Potting Mixture for Olive Trees Indoors

If you really want the best soil for olive trees in pots, it’s probably best to produce your own well-drained potting mix. It is straightforward to do, as long as you’ve got the required soil amendments.

soil mix 1
Make your own potting soil mix for olive trees from peat, sand and bark.

Here is how to make a potting mixture for potted olive trees: mix equal parts peat, sand, and bark. Substitute perlite or vermiculite if the bark is not available. This mixture is loose enough to permit drainage of any excess moisture from the pot or container for your olive tree.

Check out this video on how to make your own potting mix:

How Often to Change Soil for Olive Trees in Pots?

When the olive tree outgrows its pot every three to four years, it is best to use a fresh batch of the potting mixture to replace the old medium.

You can either move the olive tree to a larger pot or prune the roots. Then re-pot it in the same pot with a new potting medium. In fact, ceramic or wooden pots are better for olive trees comparing plastic, metal, or glass pots which help to retain moisture. Indeed, ceramic and wood allow more evaporation.

Evaluating Soil for Olive Tree

evaluating soil for olive trees
Above: best soil for olive trees in pots is determined by its physical, chemical, and biological composition

So far, we have answered the fundamental question of what is the best soil for olive trees in pots. However, the soil’s ability to support healthy olive tree life is determined by its physical, chemical, and biological composition.

You can examine some soil properties like texture or color by your eye or moisture by touching with your hand. However, you cannot do the same for chemical properties in the soil. Therefore it is crucial to test your potting soil.

So why testing soil is so important? Testing is done to make recommendations as to whether the potting mixture needs pH adjustments or additional nutrients.

For example, testing informs you of the soil’s health and eliminates events of over- or under-fertilization, which could lead to olive tree death. as well, olive trees are completely intolerant of poor drainage, so it is important to test the moisture in a pot.

You can test your olive tree soil inexpensively at home. Studies showed that home testing kits post results comparable to laboratory tests.

Furthermore, technology has evolved a lot, and currently, home test kits are made safe and easy for you to use with most of them being plug and read gadgets. Therefore you must test your soil for the best experience in growing your olive tree in a pot.

After testing is done, if it informs your olive tree requires a refill of macronutrients like phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, and nitrogen, consider adding olive tree fertilizers. Again, there are many good fertilizers on a market, so my guidelines on what is the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots may help.

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What is Soil pH for Olive Trees in Pots?

The ideal soil pH for olive trees is between 6 and 7. In case you have a potting mix that is too acidic or basic, you can add lime to raise soil pH. Otherwise, added sulfur will lower it.

If you just want to test potting soil pH, simple pH testing strips are available online and at many gardening supply stores.

Once the soil pH level is adjusted for the olive tree you are growing, do not put it out of your mind. Maintaining the correct pH level for your potting soil is an ongoing task, especially if the tree grows in a pot and indoors.

Even fertilizers can shift your olive tree soil pH over time. Hence, there’s a need for regular additions of limestone or sulfur-based on testing results.

olive tree in pot planting and care
Above: olive tree soil needs constant care. Soil testing can help you to manage properties and ensure the right fertilization.

Ensuring Soil Drainage When Planting

While you might be concerned about what is the best soil for olive trees in pots, it also vital for you to ensure the right soil drainage when planting a tree. Here are listed a few tips on how to ensure soil drainage:

  • Choosing a pot with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom prevents excess water from smothering olive tree roots.
  • Furthermore, to ensure proper drainage, you can put 1 – 1.5 inches (2.5 – 4 cm) of gravel or lava rock or small rocks in the pot beneath the potting mix.
  • It is also a good idea to put a layer of gravel or lava rock in any tray the olive tree pot sits on to prevent the roots from sitting in water.
  • A layer of the screen at the very bottom of the pot can help contain the potting mixture and gravel if the pot has large drainage holes.

Well, olive trees in pots will tolerate either acidic or alkaline conditions but good drainage is extremely important. In fact, good drainage is the most important thing to consider when growing olive trees in pots or containers!


Maintaining Soil for Olive Tree in Pots

By now, you know how to maintain soil fit for the healthy life of your potted olive tree. However, to keep the productivity and fertility of the soil of your plant, I have these tips:

  1. Boost nutrition – especially nitrogen. Improve your olive tree soil with compost to boost nitrogen at least once per year.
  2. Improve drainage and aeration.
  3. Warmth and sunlight is a must for the vigorous olive tree in pot growth and development.
  4. Control moisture. Install a small, inexpensive moisture meter for olive trees to alert you before plants feel the deficiency. As well, water with care.
  5. Monitor weeds, pests, and disease. As to maintain robust growth for your olive trees, it is crucial to monitor and control weeds, pests, and disease.

For detailed guidance, we have 20 useful tips on how to grow olive trees indoors. Also, check out our recently posted article about soil when cultivating olive trees.

maintaining soil for olive trees
Above: green leaves of a potted olive tree shows the correct soil maintenance and perfect drainage.


In answering the question of what is the best soil for olive trees in pots, my experience, and gardeners’ advice have established that well-drained commercial potting soil is best.

Choosing the right pot and preparing your potting mixture before you plant will greatly improve your olive tree’s performance and promote healthy, vigorous growth. It is an amazing idea to have your soil tested at home to determine if it is lacking in any essential properties: minerals and nutrients. This you can do yourself using home soil test kits.

Once the properties and structure of the soil are known, you can determine how best to handle the soil for the potted olive tree. Soil needs consistent care, and properties can be enhanced and managed by adding organic manures and fertilizers.

problems with olive tree in pots
Read more on problems with olive trees in pots

For you to get optimal results while growing olive trees in pots, you also need to maintain favorable conditions like sunlight and drainage. Overall, results are based on the quality of soil, management of the soil, and taking proper care of your olive tree.

I hope this guide: best soil for olive trees in pots has given you some good insights to enable you to make the right purchase and hopefully in the process we have saved you some time and money.

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