How to Root Olive Tree Cuttings in Water?

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There are multiple reasons to grow an olive tree indoors or in your backyard. Scientific studies have shown that olive trees and other plants reduce stress and improve air quality. However, acquiring new olive trees can become costly.  The good news, you can root olive tree cuttings in water – it is an inexpensive way to increase your plant collection.

As well, if you want to multiply your family olive tree a hundred years old, you can try to propagate olive trees from cuttings and continue that magic olive tree growth cycle in your own home.

Let’s get prepared and let’s follow these steps to root olive tree cuttings in water!

1.     Best Time to Take Olive Tree Cuttings

The best time to cut olive tree cuttings is summer after the new growth has begun to establish itself and harden up. Before choosing olive tree cutting, observe the parent olive tree as a whole – it should look healthy, strong, well-fed. After picking up the best new growth, your new tree has a higher survival rate.

how to take olive tree cuttings 1
Select the young olive branch looking strong and healthy to root cuttings

2.     Cut Olive Tree Cuttings Correctly

Examine the olive tree, its stem or branches, and look for a place of new growth on the olive tree.

Use a sharp knife or scissors or pruning shears to cut 1/8-inch (0.3 cm) below this growing node at a 45°angle. Ideally, take an 8-inch (20 cm) long cuttings and be sure to leave a branch you cut from of about 3-inches (7 cm) long at least.

Strip off almost all the leaves from the cuttings – leave only few of them on very top.

olive tree propagating from cuttings
I use scissors to cut around 8-inch (20 cm) long multiple cuttings to root in water

3.     Root Olive Tree Cuttings in Water

Put the olive tree cuttings in a glass or jar with water. Poor enough room temperature water to cover the nodes of the olive tree cuttings. Avoid contaminating the water by removing any olive leaves which could fall below the waterline.

You can dip the cut end of the cutting in a rooting hormone prior to putting it into the water to encourage even faster root production and growth. Or you can pre-make natural rooting hormone water yourself and dip olive tree cuttings there.

root olive tree cuttings in water complete guide
After i remove leaves from olive tree cutting I put it into a water with a half of tablespoon of vinegar which is antibacterial and a natural helper to grow roots

The olive tree cuttings need partial sun and moderate temperatures. A window sill is an excellent location for rooting olive tree cuttings in water.

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4.     Monitor Your Olive Tree Cuttings Daily

Monitor the olive cuttings daily to ensure the water remains clear. Replace cloudy water quickly to prevent stressing the olive tree. I recommend changing out the water every 4 days with fresh room temperature water.

Discard the olive tree cuttings and water if the root turns brown or begins to rot.

5.     Wait And Watch As Your Cuttings Root

Wait and watch as your new olive tree roots grow!  To root olive tree cuttings in water can take up to 3 – 5 months depending on the olive tree.

The most common mistake when rooting olive tree cuttings in water is not waiting enough for roots to grow and toss the cuttings in a week or two. Give it lots of time, weeks to see the first roots coming out. If the actual olive tree doesn’t die itself, just wait – that means roots are probably still on their way.

6.     Plant Olive Tree Cuttings When Roots Are Ready

Olive tree cuttings are ready to plant in soil when the roots are at least 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 cm) long. Be careful with the new young olive tree as the roots are sensitive.

Prepare soil when planting olive tree and gently transfer the olive tree into a more permanent home and return to a partially shaded location.

Check out our complete guide on how to plant olive trees in container or pot.

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Conclusion on How to Root Olive Trees in Water

Olive tree cuttings grow into mature olive tree faster than growing olive tree from seeds. Also, another great way to grow olive tree is to propagate olive trees from cuttings in soil instead of water.

If you have followed the steps described in this article and have a lot of patience, then you will be able to multiply the pre-existing resources and propagate your own olive trees. By adding a nice bow on a pot of your young olive tree, you can give it as a gift to your friends or family!

Thank you for visiting and happy growing!

propagate olive trees from cuttings
Check out another article about propagating olive trees from cuttings in soil instead of water!

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4 thoughts on “How to Root Olive Tree Cuttings in Water?”

  1. Hi M, thanks for your note, I will update the article accordingly. We use 100% grape vinegar, but you can also use apple vinegar.

  2. I didn’t see the types of vinegar that you specified so I added white vinegar is that going to work?

  3. Hi Justine, yes white vinegar is good as well. In general, vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal activities.

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