Koroneiki Olive Tree – Everything You Need to Know

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Our Greek family cultivates Koroneiki olive trees for olive oil for generations. The main reason why we have chosen this variety is their production of the highest quality extra virgin olive oil compared to other Greek olive varieties for oil.

As well, the Koroneiki olive tree is recognized as a premium olive variety, in other words, the queen of Greek olive varieties. Its olive oil presents exceptional organoleptic characteristics (including taste, sight, smell, and touch), very low acidity, dark green color, and the distinctive aroma of fresh olives.

Our Koroneiki olive grove is located in Messinia, in the south Peloponnese, Greece. But also, these trees are cultivated in other Peloponnese regions (Achaia, Laconia), in Crete (Rethymno, Heraklio), in Ianion islands (Zakinthos, Kefalonia), in Western Sterea, Samos, Ikaria, and elsewhere.

You may heard other people naming Koroneiki olives as Koronia, Koroni, Mikrokarpi, Psilolia, Lianolia, Kritikia, Ladolia, Koroni, Vastiki, Asprolia. So if you hear one of these names, it is a big change you are speaking about the same olive variety.

Koroneiki olive tree care growing conditions

Koroneiki Olive Trees at a Glance

Koroneiki olive trees can yield olive fruit in the first year after planting them. Whether you choose to place one in your backyard or in your patio, your Koroneiki olive tree can be both ornamental and a source of olive bitterness.

Koroneiki Olive TreeCharacteristics
Origin Origin – Koroni, Peloponnese region, Greece
Scientific Name Olea Europaea var. Mastoides
Height 14 – 20 feet (4 – 6 meters) tall at maturity, with draft variety to be 5 – 7 ft (1.5 – 10 m) tall
Flowers Fragrant small white flowers
FruitingCan bear olive fruit in 1st year
HarvestHeavy harvest in winter
Soil CompositionWell-drained, sandy, neutral 6- 8 pH level
Sunlight RequirementsIdeally 8 – 12 hours of direct sunlight per day
Resistance Highly tolerant to adverse conditions like drought
USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11 outdoors / 4-11 patio
LifespanThe average lifespan is 300 – 500 years
Table 1. Koroneiki olive variety main characteristics

Koroneiki Olive Tree Appearance

The Koroneiki tree can reach a great height and its crown is hemispherical or cup-shaped. Standard Koroneiki olive trees grow to be 14 – 20 feet (4 – 6 meters) tall at maturity with a 15 – 20 ft (4.5 – 6 m) spread. While the dwarf variety grows to be 5 – 7 ft (1.5 – 10 m) tall.

Kroneiki olive trees have small, dark green lanceolate leaves and fragrant white olive tree flowers. Their inflorescences have 2 -5  small fruits, mastoids, with one side curved and weighing about half of the gram. The olive fruit is initially green, then fades, in the end it is black purple.

Koroneiki olive tree growing conditions (1)
Koroneiki olive tree is silver-green to dark green color evergreen tree

Koroneiki Olive Tree Growth Rate

Koroneiki olive trees grow quite slowly to full maturity. Its trunk and core branches thicken and grow 2 – 4 inches (5 -10 cm) in length per year. Though Koroneiki olive tree thin branches, suckers, and water sprouts thrive and grow very fast, they may reach over 3.28 feet (1 m) per year.

If you grow your Koroneiki olive tree in a garden pot, it will grow according to the size of the pot and be smaller. And, Koroneiki olive trees planted in the ground grow faster than olive trees in containers.

In case you are interested to learn how fast olive tree grows check out my article about olive tree growth rate including examples.

Growing Koroneiki Olive Trees

Koroneiki is a very hardy olive tree variety and has the advantage of adapting to the most adverse conditions. Its requirements for soil, moisture, and cultivation care are minor.

Koroneiki olive trees can be grown at an altitude up to 500m. It has a yearly fruit and high yield, which can reach 150 kg olives per year. As a rule, it gives fruits each every year, but may, in the case of systematic cultivation, give each second year a percentage of production. No matter its main disadvantage is small olive fruits that make mechanical collection difficult, Koroneiki is a premium variety due to the high quality of its olive oil.

Koroneiki tree blooms around mid-April and the olive maturation starts early in October and ends late in December. The oil content is around 22%. The aroma and taste are distinct. This is a variety with famous organoleptic characteristics.

Koroneiki olive fruits
Koroneiki fruit yield is very high, it can reach 150 kg per year

Growing Zones

Koroneiki olive trees originated in Greece, however, now you can find them growing around the world. The perfect growing zone is the Mediterranean region. However, Koroneiki can be found cultivated in the United States, South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Koroneiki trees flourish in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11, which are regions on the southern coastal margins and the deep southern half of the US. And suitable zones 4-11 if you grow in your patio and bring inside over winter.

Interested in Buying a Koroneiki Olive Tree?

If you are interested to buy a beautiful Greek origin Koroneiki olive tree and place it in your backyard, patio or garden, I can recommend a reliable seller Fast Growing Trees shipping within the USA.

Koroneiki Olive FGT 600x600 7dcf8734 de95 42e3 8f80 6b02e4fbb3c3

Koroneiki Olive Tree Planting Guide

These are the steps to follow to plant your Koroneiki olive tree in a pot.  

Firstly, select a solid container with drainage holes that is 1-2 sizes larger than the container the tree arrived in. Then prepare the container by placing a 2-inch (5 cm) layer of stone at the bottom of the pot.

Secondly, create a potting mix with peat moss, potting soil, and perlite in the pot. You can also use a commercial organic potting mix to plant an olive tree.

Then, slide the olive tree out of the container and cut off dry or fluff matted roots.

Afterward, place the olive tree in the center of the container and add the potting mixture in the container so that the crown of the roots rests just above the line of the soil.

Finally, once your Koroneiki olive tree is planted, add water slowly up until you see it leaking through drainage holes. And place the olive tree in the sunniest location in your backyard or patio or by a south-facing window inside.

Check out my article on how to choose the best material for large pots for olive trees.



Pollination Tips

If you ask if the Koroneiki olive tree needs a pollinator, the answer is NO. One major benefit of Koroneiki olive trees is that they are self-fertile and self-pollinating. You only need one of these Koroneiki self-pollinating trees to get fruit. However, if you want to increase your overall harvest, plant several Koroneiki trees.

Koroneiki olive trees start bearing fruit at different times, depending on how they were grown. Olive trees grown from grafted rootstock can start bearing fruit as soon as two years, while seed-grown olive trees, which tend to be less healthy in general, start bearing olive fruit between three to seven years old.

Koroneiki olive trees will fruit either indoors or outdoors once per year in late fall or early winter.

If your Koroneiki olive tree is located outdoors, pollination should take care of itself. But if you have an indoor Koroneiki olive tree—or an outdoor one that you bring inside during cold temperatures—you can assist with pollination. Take a paintbrush or cotton swab and ease it into the center of a Koroneiki olive blossom and swirl it, collecting the pollen. Then, repeat the process with every other olive flower blossom on the tree.

More about pollination read the article self-pollinating and cross-pollinating olive trees.

Koroneiki olive tree grove in Greece 1
Our Koroneiki olive grove in Messinia region, Greece

Care for Koroneiki Olive Trees

Here’s what you need to know on how to care for the Koroneiki olive tree before you decide to grow your own tree.

Soil Requirements

The olive trees require soil with good drainage and do well in loamy and sandy loam soils. The ideal soil pH is neutral and ranges between 6 and 8 pH.

You can amend your soil to reach the desired pH level, either adding sulfur or coffee ground to increase soil acidity or lime to lower overly acidic soil.

best soil for olive trees in pots
Read about best soil for potted olive trees

Sunlight Needs

Koroneiki olive trees thrive in full sunlight, requiring at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, preferably from the southwest, whether indoors or outdoors.

If full sunlight isn’t possible inside, consider investing in grow lights. More about sunlight needs, read the article why an indoor olive tree needs direct sunlight.

Watering a Koroneiki Olive Tree

Olive trees need soil that is moist but not wet to thrive, especially if they are grown in pots. The best is the deep watering method but infrequent.

Water when the upper 2 inches (5 cm) of the soil is dry. You can simply test this by pressing your finger into the soil down to your second knuckle and seeing if the soil feels dry or wet and moist.

5 Tips On Water Requirements For Olive Trees in Pots
Check out 5 tips on water requirements for olive trees

Optimal Tempreture

Koroneiki olive trees thrive on an annual average temperature between roughly 60 and 70°F  (15 – 21°C). If the temperature drops below 20 °F (-7 °C), you should bring your Koroneiki olive tree indoors until it heats up again.

Pruning a Koroneiki Olive Tree

You should prune your Koroneiki olive tree annually to keep it in its best health, maintain its structure and shape, and ensure that its branches can support olive fruit. Prune off the branches that do not produce fruit as they grow. The side branches will spread into that space and strengthen so that they can bear the larger olive fruit. Cut any branches that are growing toward the trunk to increase airflow between the branches.

Pruning your Koroneiki olive tree before its fruit develops can help stimulate the growth of larger fruit and increase yield. Also, check out my tips on olive tree pruning.

Fertilizing a Koroneiki Olive Tree

Your Koroneiki olive tree can benefit from frequent fertilization once per couple of months from early spring through early October. Focus on a slow-release nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You can find in the market some great fertilizers created specifically for olive trees.

Also, you can use organic fertilizers for your olive trees. If you are interested to go organic path, read my article about 13 organic fertilizers for olive trees and other plants.

If your olive tree leaves start yellowing, it can be a sign you need to fertilize your Koroneiki olive trees. Check out this post and learn what are the most common problems with olive trees in pots.

Koroneiki vs Kalamata Olive Tree

First of all, Koroneiki and Kalamata olive trees have different sizes and shapes of olive fruits. While Kalamata olive trees produce purple, almond shape, and plump olives, Koroneiki olives are very small, oval, and slightly asymmetric in shape from light green to dark purple color.

Secondly, Koroneiki and Kalamata olives are mainly used for different purposes. While Kalamata olives are ideal as traditional snacking table olives due to their large size and meaty texture, Koroneiki olives are superior for extra virgin olive oil. Koroneiki olive is named the “queen of olives” in Greece and is known worldwide as one of the preferred olives for oil production.

Finally, Kalamata olive trees bear leaves that are twice the size of Koroneiki trees and other olive varieties also.

Kalamata olive tree appearance care harvest
Find here everything you need to know about the Kalamata olive tree!

Koroneiki vs Arbequina Olive Tree

If comparing Koroneiki and Arbequina olive tree appearance and care, both olive trees are maintained the same in order to thrive and produce the fruit.

However, you can differentiate Koroneiki vs Arbequina olive varieties by looking into their olives. While Koroneiki olives are very bitter, oval, slightly asymmetric in shape from light green to dark purple color, Arbequina olives are highly aromatic, symmetrical, and dark brown or glossy black, with a rounded apex.

Furthermore, the Koroneiki olive tree originated from Greece and is mostly grown in Peloponnese, Arbequina comes from Spain and is mostly cultivated in Catalonia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Koroneiki olive trees easy to care for?

Koroneiki olive trees are moderately easy to care for, although it will take a bit of effort (and patience) to ensure your olive blooms and produces fruit.

How long does it take for a Koroneiki olive tree to bear fruit?

The amount of time it takes depends on how the Koroneiki tree was grown. A grafted tree can bear fruit in as little as two years, while seed-grown Koroneiki olive trees can take anywhere from three to seven years to produce fruit.

How big do Koroneiki olive trees get?

Standard Koroneiki trees grow to be 14 – 20 feet (4 – 6 meters) tall at maturity with a 15 – 20 foot (4.5 – 6 meters) spread. While the dwarf variety grows to be 5 – 7 feet (1.5 – 10 m) tall.

Are coffee grounds good for Koroneiki olive trees?

It depends on the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. The ideal soil pH for your Koroneiki olive tree is between 6 and 8 pH. Coffee grounds can increase the acidity of the soil if needed.

Where should I place a Koroneiki olive tree indoors?

If growing a Koroneiki olive tree indoors, opt for your sunniest window or use grow lights to supplement the natural sunlight. Your olive tree should also be located somewhere very warm, away from any drafts or cold blasts of air.

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Final Thoughts

In general, the Koroneiki olive tree is a very hardy tree and easy to grow if you follow regular care and maintenance. It is one of the popular olive varieties to grow for amazing extra virgin olive oil.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, our family has Koroneiki olive groves in the Kalamata region that has been cultivated through generations. So if you want to try mono-varietal pure unfiltered extra virgin olive oil rich in vitamins and antioxidants, check out our Oliviada shop.

We guarantee once you taste it, you will never go back to the supermarkets to purchase filtered or blended mass production olive oils.

buy Greek Kalamata Oliviada olive oil
Try our premium extra virgin olive oil from Kalamata!

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8 thoughts on “Koroneiki Olive Tree – Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Hello Vageli. Thank for all of the information. How may koroneini olive trees would you advise can be planted in a 1000 square meters?

    Thank you

  2. Hi Jim, for years olive trees have been planted in distances approx 10 x 10 meters or even larger, particularly in areas that experience draughts. Such distances help trees to access the water resources they need. On another hand, in areas where the climate is not so dry and the soil retains the water distances are approx 6 x 6 meters.

  3. Hi there, I have a farm that ranges in elevation from approximately 600-1000 metres. Is growing Koroneiki olives prohibitive in your opinion, and if so why?

  4. Hi John, The optimal elevation range for growing Koroneiki olives is typically between 0-800 meters above sea level, with some sources indicating that elevations between 200-600 meters are the best.
    At elevations higher than 800 meters, the temperatures can be lower and the growing season shorter, which may affect the growth and productivity of the trees. In addition, frost can be a concern at higher elevations, damaging the trees and reducing their yield.
    That being said, many factors can affect the success of olive cultivation at a particular location, including soil type, climate, rainfall, and other environmental conditions. Your farm may still be suitable for growing Koroneiki olives, even if it is at a higher elevation than recommended.
    The best way to determine if Koroneiki olives can be grown successfully on your farm is to consult with a local agricultural expert or horticulturist familiar with your area’s specific growing conditions. They can provide you with more detailed information and guidance on whether Koroneiki olives are a good fit for your farm, and if not, suggest other olive varieties that may be better suited to your growing conditions.

  5. Vangelis Kleft

    Hi there! Yes, you can grow Koroneiki olive trees in high-density planting configurations. High-density planting, often referred to as super-high-density or intensive planting, involves planting trees in a closely spaced pattern. The spacing you mentioned (4m/1.5m or 5m/3m) suggests a relatively high-density planting.

    Koroneiki olive trees are known for their small size, making them well-suited for high-density orchards. This planting approach has several potential benefits, including increased yield per hectare, easier harvesting, and efficient use of space.

  6. hi, what months are best to prune the koroneiki olive trees in the southern aegean? can i prune these trees in august or september before they bare fruit and will pruning during these months kill the tree instead of waiting until after the harvest?? ty

  7. Vangelis Kleft

    Hi Kostas,
    Pruning your Koroneiki olive trees in the Southern Aegean is best left for late winter to early spring or after the harvest in late autumn to early winter. Doing it in August or September, right before the trees are set to bear fruit, isn’t the best timing. This late in the season, the trees are focusing all their energy on fruit development, and pruning could distract them from that all-important task. While pruning during these months is unlikely to kill a healthy tree, it could lead to less fruit and potentially stress the tree, making it more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Waiting until after the harvest gives you a better chance to shape your tree for the next season without risking its bounty or health.

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