Best Time to Repot Olive Trees – How to Repot Olive Trees

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Growing your own potted olive trees indoors adds lots of charm and beauty to your home space. No matter, olive trees in pots can nurture throughout a year, they do eventually outgrow their pots. As well, repotting olive tree not only boosts the tree growth but as well restore the nutrition of the potting soil.

However, the timing to transplant the potted olive tree is very important as well as the process of repotting. So when do you repot olive trees? A potted olive tree requires to be repotted every few years. Unless there are some problems with olive trees in pots such as outgrown roots or dropping leaves, then urgent replanting is needed.

For this reason, we have prepared an in-depth step by step guide to clarify when is the best time to report olive trees as well as how to report olive trees indoors.

When is Best Time of Year to Repot Olive Trees?

A potted olive tree will generally need to be repotted every 3-4 years. When you have ascertained that you are going to transplant your potted olive tree, plan to repot in the early spring. To be more precise:

Indeed, spring is the best time of the year to repot olive tree because it is gearing up for new growth. When the olive tree is actively in its growth phase, it can acclimate to its new surroundings without too much stress and encourage to grow sturdy roots for strong establishment in a new pot.

repot olive trees best time sz
The best time of the year to repot olive trees is early spring after harvest prior to new growth.

How to Repot Olive Trees?

Once you decided it’s time to repot olive tree, you have 2 options. You can transplant the tree into a larger container or lift it out, prune the roots and repot it in the same pot with fresh soil.

However, remember that the ultimate size of the olive tree is directly related to the size of the container. So if you want your potted tree to grow bigger, it’s time to get a larger pot. And here is our quick guidelines for choosing large pots for olive trees.

best companion plants for olive trees
Read more on the best companion plants for olive trees

Another thing, if you want to grow companion plants next to an olive tree, you should pick a much bigger pot and keep some space for herb plants or small flowers.

Without further ado, to help you to go through this process easier, we gathered detailed step by step instructions on how to repot olive tree:

  1. Choose a pot that is about 25 % larger than the current pot with drainage holes
  2. Replace the old potting soil with a new one. Be sure to use a potting mix and not ground soil. Ground soil will not drain well in the container and could possibly have insects inside it. Any commercial, well-draining potting soil is the best option for an olive tree.
  3. If the olive tree is pot-bound when you change pots, perform root pruning by using a box cutter or other sharp instrument to score along the sides of the root ball and remove the mass of roots. This will stimulate new root growth and keep the plant healthier.
  4. Trim off broken or damaged roots and cut through roots that circle around the inner side of the pot
  5. Look for rotting roots, which will be soft and brown, and trim them off
  6. If you don’t want your tree to grow any larger, you can pot it back into the same pot
  7. Trim 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 inches) off of about one-fourth of the roots
  8. A layer of gravel, Styrofoam, lava rock, crushed cans (or anything loose) should fill the bottom of the pot to facilitate draining
  9. You can add natural rooting hormones for olive tree to help roots to establish in a new pot
  10. Set the tree in the pot so that the soil line on the trunk is about 1 inch below the lip of the pot
  11. Water when the pot is half full of soil to allow settling, and then fill the pot with soil to the soil line and water again
  12. Last but not least point, to re-pot a large olive tree is a job for two or more people, so don’t try it on your own.

Well, that’s it. By following these steps, you can easily repot your tree and let your tree enjoy a new growth phase immediately.

Final Thoughts

As an olive tree grower, you should care and maintain your olive tree regularly and decide when the olive tree repotting is required. However, if you have been vigilant about watering and fertilizing your potted olive tree but the leaves are dropping and there is evidence of twig dieback or roots growing out of the drainage holes,  you should want to repot it urgently.

Once you decide it is a time for your tree transplanting, there’s no great mystery to repotting olive trees, however, you should choose the right large pot for you olive trees and the fresh potting soil to achieve the best growing results.

As well, if you are thinking to purchase an olive tree and need tips you can find detailed guidelines on what to look for when buying an olive tree. And if you are interested in adopting an olive tree in Greece and to receive our  family produced Kalamata premium olive oil, here you can find our suggested adoption packages:

Finally, I hope this guide: the best time to repot olive trees helped you to clarify the olive tree repotting process in detail and saved you lots of time and energy while growing potted olive trees indoors.

Relevant Posts

Are You Looking to Buy an Olive Tree? 

If you are looking to add more potted trees or other plants to your orchard, or if you like to replace a neglected olive tree, the best places to get them are your local nursery or an online nursery.

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8 thoughts on “Best Time to Repot Olive Trees – How to Repot Olive Trees”

  1. Hi Keith, thank you, I am happy to share with my readers the knowledge we have here in growing olive trees!

  2. My olive trees are thinning and yellow leaves the soil is damp and I only sprinkle water every few days. They are big trunk 6ft and the pot has split. Do they need repotting

  3. Hi Lyn, olive trees do not like too wet soil, so if the soil is damp, try not to water until it will fully dry out. The soil in the pot gets exhausted, so it is very healthy and recommended to repot olive trees each few years, in order to refresh the soil and add new nutrients, to trim the dead roots. Wish your tree speed recovery!

  4. Hi. Thank you for your articles on olive tree husbandry. They have been a really great blessing. I do have a 2-, 1- and a 6-month old olive trees that are not doing too well. The leaves are drooping and some of them show a brownish dieback symptom from the tips of the leaves. The majority also seem to be infested with black spot insects. Would you recommend a re-pot at this point?

  5. Hi Isaac, thank you for your feedback. First of all, I would suggest applying a treatment to get rid of insects. IF it is scale insects – they look flat oval-shaped with a dark brown or black shell-like covering, then check out one of my articles about how to get rid of scale insects (use a “search” option on my website). If not, ideally to identify what type of insects they are and apply proper treatment. Use an insecticide for a quick solution. In terms of repotting, it is always a good move – you not only refresh the soil but also observe roots if they are healthy and not damaged and do not have any watering-related issues.

  6. My olive tree has been in pot for about 10 years it is healthy but the pot has broken and I want to move it. My concern is it has probably rooted into the ground. Will I kill it my moving it and cutting those roots in the ground. Thank you

  7. Hi Mary, try to dig out the roots from the ground when you are repotting your olive tree. Trimming roots is not harmful, however, try not to damage too many core roots which are the main suppliers of water and nutrients.

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