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 how often you should water olive trees and their water requirements.
There’s no definitive answer to this question. In general, on an average year with average rains, each olive tree should be watered every 10-15 days during the Summer, with 20 liters of water per square meter of the tree crop. Younger trees (below five years of age) need irrigation more frequently (every week during the Summer). During other seasons, watering once a month should be more than enough.
There’s no definitive answer to this question. Aside from the tree age, some other factors may affect the olive trees’ water needs: soil type, weather conditions, and time of the year.
I’ll try my best to give you a detailed answer, so make sure to read the whole article to know precisely how much water trees in your garden or farm need.
How Much Watering 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). In general, if we look at the whole year, there will be enough rain in most climates, but the problem is that the showers lack 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
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 rains 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.
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 rains 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, mini-sprinkler systems
- High-volume systems such as sprinklers, which spend more water per hour, but they’re 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
Do olive trees require a lot of water?
In general, olive trees don’t require a lot of water, and they’re pretty resistant to droughts. However, if you want olive trees to produce many fruits, you should water them regularly.
How often to water olive trees indoor?
If you grow olive tree indoor, you can water them once a week with around 5-10 liters of water per tree, depending on the tree size.
How much water does an olive tree need per day?
A fully-grown olive tree requires around 10-20 liters of water per day.
How often to water olive trees in Summer?
In Summer, you should water olive trees twice a month. If it’s a high drought year, you can water them once every week. Remember to give olive trees enough water (20 liters per square meter of the tree canopy).
Can you overwater olive trees?
Yes. By adding too much water to olive trees, they won’t grow their roots as deep as usual, and that’ll keep them vulnerable to future droughts. Also, by giving olive trees too much water, you’ll attract olive fruit flies.
How often to water the newly planted olive tree?
A newly-planted olive tree should be watered once every week, with about 5-10 liters of water per tree.
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.