How Often To Water Olive Trees?

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guy watering an olive tree in a pot

Even though olive trees are pretty resistant to draughts, they still have requirements for water, especially if you want to grow a healthy olive tree that’ll produce plenty of fruits each year. In today’s article, I’ll show you olive tree water requirements and how often you should irrigate them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Olive trees need watering every 10-15 days in summer and monthly in other seasons.
  • Young or newly planted trees require weekly watering.
  • Regular watering boosts fruit yield and tree health.
  • Overwatering can harm root development and attract pests.
  • Larger indoor olive trees should be watered weekly with 5-10 liters.

How Much Water Do Olive Trees Need?

Olive trees aren’t so dependent on water because they have long and wide roots. However, if you want your olive trees to be healthy and produce as many fruits as possible, you should water them frequently.

In general, olive trees need a minimum of 80-100 liters of rain per square meter every month (20-25 liters of rain per week).

If we look at the whole year, there will be enough rain in most climates, but the problem is that the showers are lacking when olive trees need them the most – during the summer period.

So, whenever there’s a lack of rain, make sure to water olive trees. It’ll be less often through the Winter and Spring, but during the Summer, the situation changes.

In most olive tree-growing climates, there will be draughts during the Summer, requiring additional olive irrigation (watering).

I like to water my olive trees twice a month during the Summer, and I water around 20 liters of water per square meter of the tree canopy.

Analyze The Soil

Many people forget about the soil properties where they plant olive trees. You should analyze the soil and check for nutrients and water absorption. Some soils tend to keep water better than others.

If the soil in your area doesn’t keep the water well enough, you should water olive trees more often. However, if the soil is keeping too much water and being moist, that’s not good for olives either. They like well-draining types of soil. If you want to make a soil analysis, here’s a great article about that.

How To Know When To Water an Olive Tree

olive tree irrigation system, olive tree sprinkles

There are two main ways to determine if olive trees need watering:

  • Check the rain data
  • Check the condition of the olive trees and fruits

Checking the rain data – regularly check the amount of rain that fell in a particular month, and if you see there are less than 80 liters of rain (preferably 120) per square meter in a month, you should give olive trees additional water.

Checking the condition of olive trees – when olives lack water, the consequences are wrinkling and falling of fruits and leaves, the lack of growth of shoots, premature ripening of fruits, and the drying of individual branches.

Related: Olive Tree Underwatering Symptoms

In my opinion, prevention is the key. Of course, spending too much water on watering olive trees isn’t a good thing, especially before the harvest. Still, if you know there will be draughts (luckily, we have weather forecasts), start watering olive trees on a bi-weekly basis to keep them moisturized all the time, especially during the late Spring and Summer.  

Olive Trees Need Regular Watering

In order to grow properly and stay healthy, olive trees need regular irrigation. It can be by rain or by you, it doesn’t matter, but olive trees need water if you want rich harvests.

Regular olive irrigation has three main benefits:

  • Increased oil content in fruits
  • An increased amount of fruits produced
  • General health condition of an olive tree

Some people complain that it costs a fortune to regularly water olive trees on their farm. However, when your olives give 15% of oil instead of 10%, that’s a big difference. In my opinion, if you invest in proper olive irrigation, investments will return quickly by harvesting more olive fruits with more oil content inside them.

Automate The Process of Watering

If you’re a larger olive grower, you should consider installing irrigation systems on your farm. Yes, it costs initially, but it’s a great long-term solution. Olive tree watering will become straightforward once you get water systems up and running.

You can install:

  • Low-volume systems such as drip systems, fogger systems, and mini-sprinkler systems.
  • High-volume systems such as sprinklers spend more water per hour but are much cheaper initially.

Whichever of these systems you choose to install, it’ll be beneficial for olive trees. Also, these systems should be installed before you plant the trees. However, if you already have the trees planted, installing irrigation systems is still possible, but it’ll be more difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions


Honestly, answering this question wasn’t very simple. There are so many variables and factors that may affect the olive tree water needs. The most important thing is to keep tracking the soil, the condition of the tree, and the amount of water that rains each month.

By watering olive trees once a month throughout the year and twice a month during the Summer, you won’t make a mistake.

I recommend you check out my article on the best soil meters, so you can track the condition of the soil, which helps you to determine whether olive trees require more water or not.