13 Organic Fertilizers For Olive Trees in Pots | Pure Nature Resources

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Applying organic fertilizers for olive trees in pots creates a living soil rich in humus and nutrients that is the key to a more environmental-friendly way to boost olive tree growth, health, and olive fruit production. There are dozens of organic fertilizers available, each with different characteristics and not all having simple how-to information to go with them or suitable for trees. 

Wondering which products are worthy organic fertilizers for olive trees in pots? Here are selected the most suitable organic fertilizers made from natural resources of the earth that can be applied in different seasons to boost olive trees growth and production yield:

  • Seabird Guano
  • Crab or Shellfish
  • Alfalfa meal
  • Cottonseed
  • Soybean
  • Greensand
  • Feather meal
  • Seaweed
  • Fish Bone meal
  • Kelp meal
  • Bone meal
  • Fruit Tree fertilizer
  • Nettles compost

These mostly plant or sea-based organic fertilizers ensure the overall fertility and viability of your olive tree soil, rather than works as quick fix fertilizers, is at the very heart of organic gardening. They are both fertilizers and soil conditioners.

organic fertilizers vs synthetic fertilizers for olive trees
Simple illustration of organic fertilizers vs synthetic fertilizers

So let’s begin to learn each of these organic fertilizers as a mean of growing and caring for your olive trees in pots or containers.  

List of 13 Organic Fertilizers For Olive Trees in Pots

I listed the 13 best options of organic fertilizers for olive trees in pots with added NPK ratio that stands for N-nitrogen, P-Phosphorous, K-Potassium.

what does NPK mean on fertilizers labelling v1
Definition what does NPK mean in fertilizer
  • Nitrogen (N) – Nitrogen is necessary for lush, green, leafy growth. An excess, however, will promote vegetative growth at the expense of fruit or flowers. Nitrogen is generally applied at higher concentrations in the early growth stages. The best natural nitrogen resources are soybean meal or feather meal.
  • Phosphorus (P) – Phosphorus will promote big, bright blooms and enhanced fruit production. It is essential for fruiting, flowering strong root growth and quality seed development. The best to use is fishbone meal or seabird guano.
  • Potassium (K) – Potassium, or Potash, helps produce strong sturdy plants and quality fruit. Potassium naturally increases plants resistance to all types of stress and is vital for cell growth and carbohydrate metabolism. Use kelp meal or seaweed.
best soil for olive trees in pots
It is always a good idea to test your potted olive tree soil and feed tree at least once a year

In ideal conditions, the best organic fertilizer would be with the highest level of nitrogen nutrient for olive trees, however in some occasions the soil is missing other nutrients or minerals and depending on the season is good to increase their ration in soil as well.

Example, it is good to use cottonseed meal in the fall to prepare the soil for a spring and seabird guano food during blooming season.

If you want to be really precise about what nutrients or minerals are missing in the soil of your olive tree, then you can start with soil testing. Then apply organic fertilizers to improve it and build up the best soil for olive trees in pots.

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1.     Seabird Guano

NPK Ratio: 0-10-0

Uptake speed rate: moderate                                                             

Seabird guano is gathered from islands that have low rainfall and arid climates, both factors which help it retain high levels of nutrients and improve the soil, also boost root development.

  • A phosphorus powerhouse, seabird guano fertilizers are excellent for use around fruiting and flowering olive trees and other plants. It dramatically increases both the amount and size of olive blooms throughout the flowering period.

Seabird guano contains a large level of trace minerals, providing well-rounded nutrition and they’re great for making growth-boosting liquid teas!

In fact, it is considered to be among the world’s best organic fertilizers for olive trees in pots and other plants.

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2.     Crab or Shellfish Meal

NPK Ratio: 4-3-0

Uptake speed rate: moderate

Crab fertilizer also can be named as a shellfish meal, is made from crushed up seafood byproducts (made from crushed bones or shells from crab or other shellfish).

  • Crab or shellfish meal fertilizer is an excellent, all-purpose slow-release fertilizer that supports the overall health of olive trees and other plants and helps with nematode and fungus problems in the soil.

Crab meal contains a great source of calcium and some phosphorous as well as a large number of trace minerals. These organic nutrients are wonderful for building soil tilth.

In addition, crab or shellfish meal also contains an element called chitin, which helps ward off pest nematodes.

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3.     Alfalfa Meal

NPK Ratio: 2.5-0.5-2.5

Uptake speed rate: slow to moderate

High-quality alfalfa meal is generally weed-free. It is a rich source of trace elements and natural growth stimulants and an excellent soil conditioner that accelerates growth and promotes larger, more plentiful olive blooms.

  • Alfalfa meal acts like a multivitamin for your olive trees and other plants. It helps kickstart growth through the quick release of nutrients into the soil and decomposes fast, helping improve soil tilth and water retention.

 Alfalfa meal preserves the highest tree nutrient value and is recommended for all flowering fruit trees, also shrubs, especially roses and other flowers. The best use for this fertilizer is as a soil conditioner in the early spring prior to olive growth cycle begins.

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4.     Cottonseed Meal

NPK Ratio: 6-2-1

Uptake speed rate: slow

Cottonseed meal fertilizer has plenty of nitrogen – the favorite mineral by olive trees in pots, but it also contains fair amounts of phosphorus and potassium.

  • Cottonseed meal improves the soil’s texture, helps build humic acid needed for olive tree growth and health. Especially for olive trees in pots, it loosens packed soil and helps give substance to the soil, aiding in water retention and also protecting the soil from rapid erosion.

The slow speed uptake is a downside of cottonseed meal. For this reason, it’s best to add it to the soil in the fall, as it gives the cottonseed meal a time to break down fully so that the nitrogen present is readily available in the spring.

Also, it can be applied throughout the growing season to promote olive tree growth and optimum tree development.

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5.     Soybean Meal

NPK Ratio: 7-1-2

Uptake speed rate: moderate

Soybean meal is an outstanding source of slow-release organic nitrogen and an excellent option for olive trees in pots that needs a nitrogen boost. Also, it contains low amounts of phosphorus and calcium.

  • Soybean meal promotes olive tree growth, in particular, early olive tree development, and is great for building leafy greens and helping young trees get their best start!

Absorption into the soil process normally occurs at moderate rates of speed depending on local growing conditions. In general, soybean meal is a good additive for longer-lasting results during soil maintenance for olive trees and other plants.

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6.     Greensand

NPK Ratio: 1-1-5

Uptake speed rate: moderate

Greensand is naturally occurring in marine sedimentary deposits and thus full of the richness that the lakes and oceans can offer.

It is composed primarily of the blue-green siliceous mineral glauconite and the number of nutrients depends heavily on the source of the sand: rich in iron, potassium, and numerous micronutrients.

These components are all important to good tree health. Greensand also helps loosen soil, improve moisture retention, soften hard water, and increase root growth.

  • Apply greensand to the current soil of your potted olive tree and the soil texture will change completely! The water retention in the pot or container will be definitely noticeable proving how great this product is for trees and other plants in pots.

Greensand provides a slow and gentle release of minerals, which protects plants from the classic root burn that many stronger fertilizers can cause.

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7.     Feather Meal

NPK Ratio: 12-0-0

Uptake speed rate: slow to moderate

Feather meal is slow release very high in nitrogen organic fertilizer derived from ground and hydrolyzed poultry feathers that work great for trees, heavy feeders when bearing fruits including olive trees.

  • A great organic source of nitrogen for olive trees to boost their growth and leaf development. Perfect for creating amazing organic soil!

Feather meal fertilizer can be used prior to planting an olive tree in order to give the soil a nutrient boost or side dressed throughout the growing season to provide a steady release of nitrogen necessary for optimum olive tree growth.

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8.     Seaweed

NPK Ratio: 1-2-5

Uptake speed rate: fast

Seaweed is a fast-acting fertilizer, a great source for zinc and iron, and often available for free along most coastlines.

Your olive trees can benefit from seaweed as it contains all of the major three nutrients in small amounts but also contains plenty of zinc and iron.

  • Seaweed improves your tree soil structure, increasing soil porosity while also improving moisture retention. (Olive trees hate to be too moist so to improve soil gradually is so important!) Also, seaweed stimulates beneficial soil bacteria, creating rich, healthy soil for edible gardens.

You can get maximum out of seaweed fertilizer by mixing it with other organic fertilizer such as fish meal:

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9.     Fish Bone Meal

NPK Ratio: 4-12-0

Uptake speed rate: fast

Fishbone meal is fast uptake organic fertilizer for a balanced boost of all nutrients where high-level phosphorous plays a role in both root and bloom development, which helps produce high-quality olive fruits.

It also contains nitrogen, which encourages olive trees to grow strong and promotes lush green foliage.

Finally, bone meal’s organic matter naturally encourages the improvement of micro-organisms, which can help improve the soil’s fertility and structure of your tree.

  • With fishbone meal your olive trees will grow faster and be healthier because they can absorb more water and nutrient from the soil by boosting root development, it is beneficial for olive buds and blooms, and feeds microorganisms in the soil.

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10.  Kelp Meal

NPK Ratio: 1-0.2-2

Uptake speed rate: fast

Kelp meal contains small amounts of the main three fertilizer components but it’s quite high in trace elements: minerals, carbohydrates, and amino acids.

Kelp meal is also a good source of growth hormones that help olive trees to reach their full potential by creating a strong root system and makes a very healthy tree planted in a pot or container.

  • Kelp meal is an excellent source of micronutrients and beneficial olive tree growth promoters, boosts greater yield and overall enhance the general appearance of potted olive tree.

Overall, kelp meal is an organic and cost effective boost to any soil fertilization and conditioning program.

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11.  Bone Meal

NPK Ratio: 4-20-0

Uptake speed rate: moderate

Bone meal is high phosphorus fertilizer that also contains plenty of nitrogen and works at moderate speeds to encourage flower production and root growth. For this reason, bone meal is great for flowering and fruiting olive trees.

  • Bone meal results in a higher fruit yield, stronger root structure for newly developing trees, promotes healthy and lush growth.

Pay attention that bone meal is mostly used in soils requiring serious amendment for spots with high nitrogen levels where plants keep getting burned.

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12.  Fruit Tree Fertilizer Mix

NPK Ratio: 6-2-4

Uptake speed rate: fast

This fruit tree fertilizer is a mix of many valuable ingredients (most of them described in this article): Feather Meal, Fish Bone Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Langbeinite, Potassium Sulfate, Alfalfa Meal, and Kelp Meal.

  • Fruit tree fertilizer is specially formulated to encourage productivity, delicious and nutritious fruit development. Works perfectly not only for potted olive trees but other fruit trees planted in your backyard or in your home.

If you grow olive trees, fig trees or lemon trees, go and get one of these balanced fruit tree fertilizers to add into your food collection for your olive tree!

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13.  Bonus Fertilizer: Nettles

This leafy green – nettle plant is high in nitrogen, chlorophyll, and plant polyphenols – all of which can bolster olive tree health and stimulate growth. On top of that, nettle contains many minerals, flavonoids, essential amino acids, proteins, and vitamins A, B1, B5, C, D, E, and K, that combine together to create a tonic and immune builder for olive trees and other plants.

If you are not willing to buy anything, then make your own nettle compost or nettle tea or extract that works as a perfect organic fertilizer for olive trees in pots and other plants.

Conclusion: Organic Fertilizers for Olive Trees in Pots

The organic fertilizers mentioned in this article serve as both fertilizers and soil conditioners—they feed both soils and olive trees. This is the key differences between a chemical approach and an organic approach toward soil care and fertilizing your olive trees in pots.

Pay attention not always organic fertilizers are a great solution if you are experiencing some problems with olive trees in pots due to their slow uptake speed. Then it is recommended to apply a fast solution – balanced best fertilizers for olive trees.

Don’t forget that the soil for your potted olive tree becomes exhausted faster comparing with an olive tree planted in ground, so don’t hesitate to feed your lovely potted tree regularly: once in spring, summer and fall.

Apply organic fertilizers for olive trees in pots and you will successfully grow a long-lived healthy trees and delicious olive fruits!

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