Best Fertilizer for Olive Trees in Pots (My Top 5)

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Fertilizer is one of the most essential aspects of care and maintenance for your olive trees in pots, particularly if you don’t live in their native Mediterranean climate.

Choosing the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots results in boosting your olive tree growth and making them pest-free. Also, the right fertilizer helps the flowering and fruiting process of olive trees. For the best results you can buy one that has NPK ratio 2:1:1 such as 20:10:10. Additionally, olive tree fertilizer should have neutral soil pH of around 7.

Without the right blend of nutrients, you’ll end up with a neglected tree, or even worse, undeveloped or wrinkled olives.

In this guide you will learn:

  • Why you should fertilize your olive tree
  • How to choose the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots
  • My Top 5 fertilizers for olive trees in pots
  • Organic vs Synthetic fertilizers
  • When, how, and how often to feed potted olive trees
  • And much more!

what is the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots

No doubt, selecting the right fertilizer for olive trees in pots can be a difficult job due to too many products available on the market. However, I have done thorough research for you and found the top 5 best fertilizers for olive trees in pots available to purchase online.

Below is a quick preview of my top 5 potted olive tree fertilizer options available online.

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My Top Pick
1. TreeHelp Premium
best fertilizer for olive trees in pots
Best Problem Solving
2. Organic Neem Oil
fertilizer for olive tree
Best for Trees & Shrubs
3. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Trees
Miracle Gro Shake and Feed Trees
Best Budget Pick
4. Jobe’s Organics
Jobes Organic fertilizer for olive trees
Best Universal
5. Miracle-Gro Universal
Miracle Gro fertilizer for olive trees

Keep scrolling to learn more about my top tips to choose and use the right fertilizer for your olive tree.

Why Do You Need to Feed Olive Trees?

Fertilizing olive trees give the following benefits:

  • Promote long-term vitality
  • Robust root development
  • Keep olive trees healthy, strong, and pest free
  • Improves the olive tree growth cycle
  • Increase flowering and fruiting

Indeed, strong and healthy olive trees are the result of good management practices. Particularly, proper fertilization for potted trees. As a result, strong healthy trees will produce more olive fruit.

Why NPK is so Important in Fertilizers for Olive Trees?

NPK is the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium required by an olive tree and other plants. These three nutrients help trees to stay healthy and grow strong, and each nutrient plays its own role described below.

Nitrogen (N)

N stands for Nitrogen and is one of the main essential nutrients for olive trees. Its main responsibility in a potted olive tree is vegetative growth. Nitrogen constructs amino acids in the olive tree which are the building blocks for protein. As well, nitrogen is a major component of chlorophyll and helps to make the foliage green. And it is also necessary for the plant’s enzymatic reactions (i.e. active growth).

Phosphorus (P)

Another important nutrient for olive trees is phosphorus (P). It is a component of DNA and RNA (the genetic building blocks within plant cells) and is needed for root growth and flowering.

Potassium (K)

Last but not least is the nutrient potassium (K). It works more indirectly than the other two nutrients. Potassium is not an element of any tree parts but activates many of the enzymatic reactions that occur within the plant, making it vital for overall plant health.

definitions what does NPK mean in fertilizer labeling
Definitions what does NPK mean in fertilizer labeling

How Other Micronutrients Benefit Your Olive Tree?

Magnesium forces the movement of carbohydrates from leaves to other parts of the olive tree. It is a great help for the olive fruiting stage.

Another micronutrient manganese is involved with photosynthesis, efficient use of Nitrogen, protein metabolism, and enzyme activation. It will increase yields when applied on both soil application and foliar sprays.

If your tree has iron, manganese, and zinc deficiencies, usually it appears as lighter splotches between the veins of a leaf.

Boron is involved in many enzyme systems of your olive tree (in carbohydrate metabolism and translocation). It works like calcium and has a significant role in cell structure and cell wall integrity.

Buyer’s Guide to Pick the Best Fertilizer for Olive Trees in Pots

Everyone wants to get the best food for their olive trees while making sure that the chosen fertilizer is reasonably priced, easy to use, manageable, and compatible with other plants they have. To help you find the top olive tree fertilizer, we’ve curated this detailed buying guide.

1. Features to Consider

When shopping for fertilizers for your olive trees in pots, you need to consider some agricultural and economic factors before you make your final decision. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you go shopping for your next olive tree fertilizer.  

NPK

Choose NPK ratio depending on your olive tree needs. For example, if you want your tree to thrive, choose nitrogen(N)-rich fertilizer. If you have just transplanted olive tree, choose phosphorus(P)-focused fertilizer to encourage root growth and blooming. In case to improve flowering and fruiting, you can choose potassium(K)-rich fertilizer.

Price

The typical price range falls between 10 – 40 USD or EUR. While the value packs can cost around 50 USD/EUR or more, you may get more supply that will last longer.

Pack volume

To lower the expense and make it budget-friendly, look for multiple packs of fertilizers or buy a value deal. You can subscribe to a weekly, monthly, or yearly box of olive tree fertilizers to save additional money.

Type of fertilizer

You will find fertilizers in many forms, including organic, synthetic, liquid fertilizers, spikes, and powdered fertilizers. It all comes down to what your olive tree needs the most and which formulation will suit it the best. 

Efficacy

Try to look for organic or natural fertilizers since they offer long-term results. In case of quick results, you may need synthetic fertilizers described below. To achieve optimal results, buy a fertilizer that is organic and formulated exclusively for olive trees.

2. For Healthy Olive Tree

In standard cases, olive trees need a fertilizer containing high-source nutrients, in particular nitrogen. So the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots is a nitrogen-rich fertilizer or balanced NPK fertilizer with a 2:1:1 formula.

The established olive tree requires a balanced fertilizer with a 20-10-10 formula.

You can find information about the nutrient ratio of NPK fertilizer on the label of each product. So you can look at this ratio and determine the percentage, by weight, of the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the fertilizer.

For example, a 1-pound bag of fertilizer would contain the following: 0.2 pounds of nitrogen, 0.1 pounds of phosphorus, and 0.1 pounds of potassium. As well, the balanced fertilizer has some micronutrients in it including magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and boron.

best soil for olive trees in pots indoors
Read more about the best soil for olive trees

3. For Olive Tree With Pests or Other Problems

If your olive tree in a pot has pest problems, you may want to try a popular Neem oil (link below). This organic oil is very good to protect your olive tree from pests or diseases and use it as a prevention.

best olive tree fertilizer to improve growth
Always the great option is a balanced fertilizer suitable for olive trees which contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients

Important to know, before choosing a fertilizer you should carry out a soil test and leaf analysis to know exactly what olive tree needs. By doing that, you learn what minerals your potted olive tree needs. Let’s look at what benefits each macro or micronutrient brings to your olive tree in a pot.  

problems with olive tree in pots
Read more about problems with olive trees in pots

4. Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizers

You may ask shall I use organic versus synthetic fertilizers for your potted olive trees? Here is a brief answer to help you decide:

organic fertilizers vs synthetic fertilizers for olive trees 1
A useful illustration of organic fertilizers vs synthetic fertilizers

Synthetic fertilizers

Synthetic fertilizers usually have higher amounts of primary nutrients. And as they are easily water-soluble, they are fast-acting, producing impressive results in a short period of time. A great thing is that most of them are blended and formulated for specific tree needs. However, incorrect or over-application may burn olive trees due to high concentrations of chemical nutrients, which are salts.

Organic fertilizers

Organic fertilizers derived from organic sources provide benefits to both olive trees and soil over time to have better composition, texture, structure, drainage, and aeration. Organically derived fertilizers typically have a lower NPK analysis (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) than synthetic fertilizers, but they feed olive trees for a much longer period of time. As a result, the impact of organic fertilizers on olive trees may take a little longer but the reward is a tree and soil that stays balanced longer. 

For fast, problem-solving, and impressive results at an economical price synthetic fertilizers are hard to beat.
But if you’re trying to build your soil for the long term, or you’re into organic gardening, then organic fertilizer is the way to go.
organic fertilizers for olive trees in pots made from natural earth resources
Check out 13 Organic Fertilizers for Olive Trees

My Top 5 Best Fertilizers for Olive Trees in Pots

When it comes to choosing the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots, there are many options available: organic or synthetic, all-purpose or specifically formulated for olive trees, granular or liquid formulations, different NPK ratios, and so on. Especially if you are a beginner in the olive tree growing process, you must be confused about which product to choose.

For this reason, I have done thorough research and found the 5 best fertilizers for olive trees in pots available online. These options allow you to choose products that fit your budget, and gardening philosophy, suitable for all types of olive trees: regular, dwarf, Arbequina, and others.

In general, fertilizers do a great job and help to improve the growth of your tree significantly. Well, you must choose wisely to get the best results! Let’s review my top 5.

1. TreeHelp Premium Fertilizer for Olive Tree

Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is great about TreeHelp premium fertilizer is specially formulated for use on olive trees. It is an essential component of your tree care on a regular basis. Specially selected to deliver all of the nutrients and vitamins your trees need to thrive and better fight insects or disease. No doubt, TreeHelp olive tree fertilizer will ensure your trees stay healthy and beautiful.

TreeHelp Premium Fertilizer contains all nutrients and top-quality ingredients required to improve root development and disease resistance. This olive tree fertilizer has slow-release Nitrogen that will continue feeding throughout the growing season.

In my own opinion, TreeHelp Premium is the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots you can find to purchase online. It is for standard use for olive trees without any infestations. If your olive tree becomes problematic, then I recommend the effective organic Neem seed oil described below.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
Specially formulated for olive treesCouldn’t find
Promotes overall olive tree health and growth
High-quality product
Long-lasting fertilizer

How to Use TreeHelp fertilizer?

For the potted olive tree, use only about 1/4 cup on a tree with it gently worked into the top inch of the soil. 
With potted trees, it is best to use less but replenish it more often due to the higher level of nutrient leaching via the pot. 
If you move the tree indoors in the fall, fertilize it after the move, to help it handle translation shock. Same as in the spring, moving the tree outdoors.
With the potted trees, as the fertilizer breaks down, replenish as needed, normally add a little every 2 to 3 months, as it is a slow-release fertilizer. 

For UK market:

An alternative to TreeHelp fertilizer is Olive Focus formulated precisely for olive trees!

Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

or Vitax organic olive tree fertilizer.

2. Organic Neem Seed Oil

Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Neem Bliss is a natural sustainable oil with the main active ingredient Azadirachtin. This ingredient ensures your olive trees remain healthy from sapling to harvest. It is super effective to control the pests and diseases of your olive tree in pots. In particular, if you bring the potted olive tree indoors for winter.

Organic fertilizer such as Neem oil for the olive tree is an essential element for soil health. It can be a solution to your tree problems and as well a protector for upcoming issues. Ideally works when planting saplings or saving stressed, mature olive trees in pots. Briefly, it works perfectly to revive potted olive trees and bring them back to life.

Overall, Neem Bliss is like a spa treatment for your olive tree and is completely safe to handle and recyclable.

The only downside of Neem oil is a quite strong garlicky odor that some people do not like.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
Completely natural, and totally free of chemicals Neem oilA quite strong garlicky odor that some people do not like
Highest quality end product used in organic gardening
Very effective indoor/ outdoor plant spray
High Azadirachtin content

3. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Flowering Trees

Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Shake ‘N Feed is a very popular version of Miracle-Gro and is created to give the ideal balance of key nutrients for all flowering trees and shrubs. And also contains important micronutrients that are vital for olive tree growth. Not 100% organic but contains natural organic matter which feeds soil slowly, resulting in the gradual release of nutrients that’s ideal for consistent growth.

As well it helps the olive tree establish itself after being repotted. As a result, it assists to build a strong root system for potted plants. Huge effect on the restoring tree’s vigorous leaf and branch growth. And the tree is not only surviving but is thriving like never before.

With Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed you will experience the next level of improvement in your olive tree health. Indeed, it makes healthy olive trees in pots look even healthier; olive trees that struggle to fruit often start producing an impressive yield.

It suits home gardeners, florists, and other professionals.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
Impressively boost your tree’s healthStrong formula, it can burn the olive tree if overdo it
Builds a strong root base and reduces transplanting shock (also perfect after olive tree repotting)
Restores plants vigor
Not 100% organic, but contains natural organic matter that feeds the soil
Comes in an 8 lbs bag, that last for a long time or can be applied to other trees and shrubs

4. Jobe’s organics fruit fertilizer

Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jobe’s organics fruit & citrus fertilizer is organic granular fertilizer. In other words, it is a sustainable product and is safe for the environment. Because it is granular it is a slow-release fertilizer meaning your olive trees will be receiving food over a longer period of time.

In addition, it is specially formulated for fruit-bearing trees. So this organic fertilizer has nutrients needed to boost yield and bear healthy olive fruit.

Biozome is an exclusive ingredient containing a combination of healthy bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi, and microorganisms that improve soil texture. Also, it helps to increase water infiltration and retention.

As a result, Jobe’s organics fertilizer includes everything you need to create healthy soil for your plants: mycorrhizal to aid in the root’s water/nutrient uptake, microbes to aid in organic decomposition, trace minerals, and a good N-P-K ratio of 3-5-5.

Briefly, this fertilizer will deliver long term benefits without synthetic chemicals, creating a healthy eco-system for your tress, your family, and the environment.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
OMRI certified Organic Granular FertilizerIt has a strong odor, but that’s not uncommon for trees’ food, especially for organic products.
For all fruits bearing trees, including olive tree
Contains Biozome which boosts olive tree growth
Apply every 2 – 3 months
The great value of money

5. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food

Last update on 2023-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Miracle-Gro plant food is a very universal very popular fertilizer and provides the release of plant food without stopping. All you have to do is to shake out the recommended amount one time. And after that, the application of the fertilizer feeds the olive tree for a long time.

This fertilizer has the ability to release continuously which makes sure to not burn nor overfeed your plant. You will realize that it is so easy for you to feed your olive tree. As a result, your potted olive tree will show vigorous growth instantly.

If you decide to purchase this fertilizer, then you can use this universal product for all your plants in your house or garden.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
Universal productDo not use it for just planted olive tree and the first-year olive tree – use a slow-release, low analysis nitrogenous fertilizer as #1 TreeHelp Premium Fertilizer for Olives
Full of the essential nutrients that boost olive trees growth
More beautiful trees vs unfed ones
Best results are seen if applied every 1 – 2 weeks

When to Apply Chosen Best Fertilizer for Olive Trees in Pots?

Apply fertilizer early in the spring to boost new growth and then repeat every few weeks. 

To know the best time frames of the fertilizing activities for your potted tree, observe the physical appearance and growth. If olive tree leaves look grey-green, the tree looks lush and is holding onto olive fruit, this means you do not need to fertilize the tree as often.

If your olive tree looks healthy, but you fertilize it too often, it can affect the flowering stage and production of fruits. However when olive tree flowers, it is the most nutrient-hungry stage and it’s good to feed your olive tree following fertilizer instructions. This will ensure the olive tree has enough nutrients to harvest well.

 

How to Fertilize Olive Tree in Pot?

The first way of fertilizing a potted olive tree is through its leaves. Another way of fertilizing olive trees in pots is through the soil. The way of fertilizing depends on the type of product. It can be sprayed with fertilizers, granules, and spikes.

When you purchase an olive tree fertilizer, read and follow the product instruction on how to use the product. The directions will be to either spray the fertilizer onto the leaves of your olive tree or spread it out around the soil in the pot. Normally, measure the amount of olive fertilizer you need according to the tree’s age and size.

For olive trees in pots, I do not recommend spikes. No matter if it is easy to apply it can overfeed the tree because its roots have limited space in the pot and it can burn.

How Often Should You Feed Olive Tree in Pot?

Olive trees in pots are heavy feeders comparing to wild olive trees due to their root restrictions in the pot. So it is best to fertilize them every 4-6 weeks during their active growing season (spring and summer). And every 1-3 months during the dormant period (fall and winter).

If you are using a liquid option you need to follow the recommended doses on the package. In most cases, it is once every 2 weeks. If possible, I do not recommend using a granular plant food for potted olive trees unless it is specialized for olives and you follow the brand instructions in terms of quantity and frequency. Because it can easily overfeed your olive tree since it grows in a limited area in the pot. However, there are no restrictions to use it for olive trees growing outdoors in the soil.

coffee for olive trees fertilizer
Coffee is a good natural fertilizer for olive trees, apply it a couple of times per year to improve the soil

FAQs on Fertilizers for Olive Trees:

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Conclusion

Growing olive trees in pots at your home or in your yard have become so popular.  No doubt, olive trees themselves make a gorgeous addition to any landscape. They are beautiful ornamental with grey-green, shiny leaves and lovely olive fruits. Indeed, it can be an easy, productive venture when potted olive trees are properly fertilized.

how to grow olive tree indoors
Read more on how to grow olive trees in pots successfully

So, what is the best fertilizer for olive trees in pots? As you can see there are some good options on the market. Choosing one of the previous products will help maintain strong, healthy olive trees that produce a bounty of fruit.

With that being said, I really like what the TreeHelp brand available on Amazon USA or Olive Focus available on Amazon UK has to offer. It is specifically formulated for olive trees. Use this plant food and you will have a healthier olive tree and higher yield.

Enjoy your gardening journey! And please share with me your gardening experience. What fertilizer would you recommend for olive trees? Share your comments below!

Read Next

13 ORGANIC FERTLIZERS FOR OLIVE TREES – PURE NATURAL RESOURCES

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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.

One of the most reliable and the world's largest online nurseries is Fast Growing Trees. They deliver fast, neat, and healthy plants backed with a 30-day guarantee.

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12 thoughts on “Best Fertilizer for Olive Trees in Pots (My Top 5)”

  1. June Perkins

    My sweet olive tree is in the ground. I live in Louisiana, notice there is moss on all of the branches and not many leaves. Do you know what the problem might be?

  2. Hi June, sorry to hear your tree has some problems. Let’s try to help to revive it.
    First, prune out the dead branches and all the leaves and twigs in the center of the tree, because they’re going to die anyway (lack of light,) and pruning them out allows more light to reach the outer areas of the tree.
    Secondly, check the soil moisture with a moisture meter. If the soil is too dry, many of the falling leaves will be yellow and start drop. If most of the leaves are green, but dropping, the soil may be too wet. Check the soil moisture by testing it and then follow other steps in my guide on how to revive the olive tree.

  3. Can I use natural fertilizer on my potted olive eg worm tea , liquid horse manure ?

  4. Can I use natural fertiliser on my potted olive, eg.worm tea, liquid horse manure.

  5. Hi George, yes, you can apply natural fertilizers, i.e. liquid horse manure which is a great source of slow-release nitrogen. Please read instructions carefully prior to using it for your tree as not to over-fertilize and damage a tree. However, do not use fresh natural fertilizers such as fresh horse manure – it can damage or kill your olive tree especially if it is a young tree due to high nitrogen concentration. Hope it helps. Happy olive tree growing!

  6. Can I use citrus tone fertilizer for my potted olive tree? I use it for my lemon tree and it says avocado and citrus fertilizer? But I’m not finding a list of other plants that it works for?. Other suggestions would be great if that’s not an option. Thank you

  7. Hi Maria, usually standard citrus tone fertilizers are high in nitrogen and suits for not only lemon trees, but nut trees, olive trees, and other plants. If on the label of your fertilizer is written that it works for citrus and avocado trees, then it should be absolutely fine with olive trees as well. For example, Espoma organic citrus tone works for all subtropical trees that like acidic soil: lemon, olive, fig, avocado, mango and others. Most important not to overfertilize. Happy growing! If you are interested in an olive tree growing and would like to ask questions or share pictures, recently I have created a Facebook community group you can join!

  8. Hi, I have an olive grove, but my seedlings rot and dry out. What fungicide should I use for this?

  9. Hi Hossein, sorry to hear your seedlings rot and dried out. It can be many reasons why it has happened. Poor drainage, overfertilization, root exposure to harsh temperatures, and so on. Any ideas in your case? First, you need to identify the root cause and then manage the treatment. Initially, the soil test would do a job. If it is root fungi, then you should diagnose the type of fungi or disease and apply a proper fungicide. Without a diagnosis, some fungicide may cause more damage to the roots than do good. If it is a fungal rot, then leave treating fungal infections to the local professionals. Only with further analysis it is difficult to apply the treatment and remove the cause.

  10. I bought TreeHelp Complete Fertilizer for my little potted indoor olive tree (cannot plant it outdoors due to Canadian winters). The instructions that came with it are for large outdoor olive trees. The package included the fertilizer, mycorrhizal treatment, and biostimulant. I just need to know measurements…how much should I be using and how often.

  11. Hi Patricia, you can always use granular fertilizer for potted plants even if the instructions point to trees planted in the ground only. As for this granular fertilizer, use 1 teaspoon per gallon (4 liters) of the soil. Sprinkle it around the tree trunk and deep water afterward. Fertilize every 3 months excluding the winter season. Hope it helps!

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