The Arbequina olive tree is the most widely planted olive cultivars and most commonly used by homeowners and gardeners. It is a cold-tolerant evergreen tree. If you grow Arbequina olive tree in pot and take good care, it rewards you with black ripped olives harvest in late October.
To be more precise, the Arbequina olive tree is a heavy olive producer and easy to grow when established either in a large pot or patio container. However, there are few fundamental items you should know prior to planting and establishing your Arbequina tree in a pot or container.
For this reason, I would like to share a few instructions and tips on how to grow Arbequina olive tree in a pot to help your tree to establish fast and nourish all year round.
1. Planting Arbequina Olive Tree in Pot
Plant Arbequina olive tree in a pot or a container where it will receive full sun. Therefore, olive trees have very different watering needs than lawns and should not be planted in the yard together.
Pots or containers should have several drainage holes. Ideally, you should choose large pots for olive trees at least 1 1/2 feet (= 45 centimeters) in diameter and contain a rapidly draining potting soil. The ideal soil ph should be between 6.5 and 7.5. You can check the soil ph with a soil tester.
As well, you can plant Arbequina olive tree next to other companion plants for the better health of the olive tree and bigger variety in your backyard. Read more about the best companion plants for olive trees here.
2. Protect Young Arbequina From Sunburn
If you have just bought a young Arbequina olive tree in pot from the greenhouse and want to keep it outdoors, make sure you protect it from sunburn.
For this reason, wrap the young olive tree trunk in paperbark wrap or paint it with white interior latex paint. If preferred, it is also acceptable to use brown paint to keep the olive tree looking natural. Such protection will reflect the sun rays off the trunk, keeping it cool.
3. Potted Arbequina Olive Tree Watering
Water the potted Arbequina tree often. Olives grown in containers need water twice a week and may need to be watered daily during hot, dry weather. Because Arbequina olive trees have a shallow root system, which gets water faster but also become exposed more easily to the sun and dries fast.
Once established, to keep nice grow Arbequina olive tree in pot will still need a deep watering every 7 to 14 days, depending on weather conditions.
4. Arbequina Olive Tree in Pot Feeding
Fertilize the Arbequina olive tree with an organic nitrogen-rich fertilizer three times a year: once during the late winter months prior a new spring growth and again in spring and summer to keep nutrients during dry seasons.
Dwarf Arbequina olive trees may need to receive about half the fertilizer amount comparing to wild olive trees. So follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using fertilizer.
5. Monitor Arbequina Olive Tree Health
When Arbequina olive tree grows in a pot or container it requires extra care and maintenance due to its root system limitation. Thus, regularly watch the leaves of the Arbequina olive tree for signs of iron and zinc deficiency.
If you spot olive tree leaves turning yellow while the veins running through them remain a dark green or if you find yellow blotches on leaves, correct these deficiencies. It can be treated with a leaf spray from your local garden center or online.
6. Arbequina Olive Tree Pruning
Prune Arbequina olive tree only as needed to remove suckers and dead, damaged, or diseased branches. You can remove off problematic parts as of your tree soon as you see them.
However, deep pruning and shaping is recommended to be done in early spring prior to a new olive growth cycle. For example, awkward growth ruining the shape of the plant can be cut back and the Arbequina olive tree in pot can be shaped as desired.
7. Outdoor Arbequina Pests Control
If you grow Arbequina olive tree in pot outdoors, wash the tree periodically with a strong spray of water to remove any pests. This method usually works well for pest prevention.
If a problem with an olive tree in a pot does occur, treat it as necessary for the specific problem. Snails, mites, aphids, and scale insects sometimes attack olive trees and many can be treated with insecticidal soap.
Other pests may need more advanced treatment but choose another method carefully. And always remember when choosing a pest solution that an olive tree produces an edible olive fruit that could be affected by chemicals. For the best results, you can read our article on how to remove the most common scale insects in a non-toxic way.
8. Arbequina Olive Tree Winter Care
Arbequina olive tree is one of the most cold-tolerant olives and does well in a colder climate. It can tolerate freezing temperatures below 15° F (- 9°C) but only for a short time period.
So if temperatures are expected to drop below 15° F (- 9°C), your potted olive tree must be protected or moved indoors. For this reason, we have useful guidelines on how to move the potted olive tree indoors here.
Things You Will Need to Grow Arbequina
- Tree wrap
- Indoor latex paint
- Pruning shears
- Garden tools set
- Soil tester
- Organic fertilizer
- Leaf spray
- Garden hose
FAQs about Arbequina Olive Tree
Here you find the most frequent questions about the Arbequina olive tree, its specifics, and fruit production.
What Does Arbequina Mean?
This olive cultivar originated in Spain in the 17th century. Consequently, the Arbequina name comes from the Spanish village of Arbeca in the Catalonia region.
How Big Do Arbequina Olive Trees Get?
The standard Arbequina olive tree size reaches to a height of 15 to 20 feet (= 4.5 to 6 meters) and a width of 10 to 15 feet (= 3 to 4.5 meters) without pruning. But a smaller dwarf version is available in the pot or container.
If you buy a dwarf Arbequina olive tree in a pot and keep pruning it on yearly basis, you can shape its form and control the size in length and width.
What Color is Arbequina Olives?
To be precise, the exteriors of young unripe olives are green. Then, it matures to a black when ready for harvest.
Can You Eat Arbequina Olives?
Yes, you can pick and eat olives from the Arbequina tree in late October when it is riped, i.e. black color. For a better taste, preserve olives in salty water for a couple of days and enjoy the amazing taste.
What do Arbequina Olives Taste Like?
Balanced taste of fruit, vegetable, and grass, with a slight bitterness. And the olive juice squeezed from it has a highly aromatic oil content.
What Color is Arbequina Olive Tree Leaves?
New growth on the tree is a fresh light green color while mature leaves are shiny silver-green.
How Fast Does Arbequina Olive Tree in Pot Grow?
Well-established Arbequina olive tree growth rate is around 12 inches (=30 cm) per year in the favorable Mediterranean-like climate, less than 12 inches in colder climates. You can read more about olive tree growth stages here.
Are Arbequina Olive Trees Self-pollinating?
Yes, Arbequina olives are self-fertile, wind-pollinated. If preferable, you can assist pollination by moving pollen from flower to flower with a small brush. The Arbequina trees self-pollinate best when planted near other olive trees. Because mixing varieties may assist in increasing yields.
As well, for a better pollination process, you can plant the Arbequina olive tree next to other companion plants that attract bees and helps pollination.
If you ensure a healthy structure and good conditions for your potted tree in terms of watering, fertilizing, and pests control, you will grow Arbequina olive tree in pot without any problems. Once your tree establishes in a pot or container, it will bring quality olive production. Then, after you have harvested Arbequina olives, you can make your own olive oil at home or prepare olives as a snack or making tapenades and more.
Overall, the Arbequina olive tree has everything you ask: it is a hardy olive tree, easy to grow, and can be both: your home accessories and home-grown editable fruit tree.
In addition, if you are looking to purchase your first olive tree and not sure which factors to consider, you can find useful guidelines in our article on what to look for when buying an olive tree. Else, you can join olive tree adoption program run by Greek family and in return to receive premium Kalamata olive oil. Check out available packages: