Wild Olive (Olea Europaea sub Africana)

  • 18 December, 2021
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Wild Olive (Olea Europaea sub Africana)

  • Evergreen tree.
  • The bark is smooth grey on younger branches and flaky on older branches.
  • Leaves are smooth glossy green above and matt dull green below. Leaf stalk up to 10cm long. Can be reduced to 3 mm with constant pruning. 


  • Essential for small leaves and ramification.
  • Very little die back so tight pruning is possible.
  • Foliage may become very dense and is an ideal place for insects and pests.
  • A good species for “Clip and Grow”
  • Big wounds will not heal, removing a large branch rather makes a feature like a jin or a shari.
  • The extremely hardwood is ideal for carving.


  • Wiring before the branches get too rigid ie within 1 year of growth. The shape should be retained with 3 months of wiring.


  • Any time of year, but best from August to November.
  • A deep pot is best otherwise branches tend to die.
  • Throughout the year with a general fertilizer. Foliar feed the undersides of the leaves.
  • Does well when fed with bone meal.


  • Wooly aphids hide under the bark, crevices, dry leaves, and wiring. Control with Malasol from EFEKTO.
  • Scale can be scratched off or killed with Malasol.
  • Psylla is the most common pest and hides in the dense foliage on the undersides of the leaves. The symptoms are yellowing of the leaves and eventually, the leaf falls off. Can be controlled by at least 3 sprays of Malasol over a month. The undersides of the leaf must be sprayed where they can be seen to be hiding. 
  • Ants protect aphids from their natural enemies. If ants are seen there are aphids and/or scale.
  • Other reported pests are red spider mite and whitefly.


  • Grows best in well-drained soil. The olive also appears to like loam- red sand, possibly because of the water retention properties of loam.
  • PH should be alkaline above 7. Bonemeal will raise alkalinity.


  • Can withstand long periods of drought.
  • Watering well in one season will produce good results in the following season. 

Tags Wild Olive / Olienhout Bonsai