How To Fertilize Olive Trees and Which Fertilizers To Use

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While not every olive grower likes to fertilize olive trees, if you want the best possible yield and fruit health, you should consider fertilizing your olive trees. In this post, I’ll show you how to fertilize olive trees, and I’ll also talk about popular types of fertilizers that people prefer to use

How To Fertilize Olive Trees: Step-by-Step Guide

spreading fertilizer around olive tree

Here are a few simple steps you need to do in order to fertilize olive trees. I won’t go too long here, so make sure to read the rest of the article, where I share additional information about fertilizing olive trees.

1. Get a High-Quality Fertilizer

One of the most important things when fertilizing olive trees is to choose a high-quality fertilizer. Of course, you don’t have to buy the most expensive one on the market, but make sure that the fertilizer has all the important ingredients for healthy olive tree growth.

Related: Best Fertilizers For Olive Trees

Personally, I like using organic fertilizer created just for olive trees. In my opinion, they’re the best choice for us small olive growers who won’t mind spending an extra few dollars on organic fertilizer instead of buying cheaper synthetic fertilizers.

2. Prepare The Right Amount of Fertilizer For The Trees

Not all olive trees require a lot of fertilizer. In general, younger olive trees will require less fertilizer, and fully-grown trees that produce fruit will require more fertilizer.

Most fertilizers on the market will have instructions, and based on them, you can determine the amount of fertilizer your olive trees need.

3. Spread The Fertilizer Evenly Under The Tree Canopy

The worst thing you can do is apply the fertilizer to one spot only. Even though the soil will slowly spread the fertilizer, it’s still not the proper thing to do.

You should evenly spread the fertilizer under each tree. Just cover the soil under the olive trees’ canopy, and make sure not to throw fertilizer too close to the trunk.

4. Slightly Plow The Soil

After you have applied the fertilizer under all olive trees, you should then slightly plow the soil so that the fertilizer ends up just under the soil.

Don’t go deep because olive trees have shallow roots, and you could damage something. So, just a light plow will do the work.

5. Water Olive Trees

After plowing the soil, it’s important to add water to the soil. That’ll speed up the dissolution of fertilizer so that the tree can get the nutrients as soon as possible.

When Is The Best Time To Fertilize Olive Trees

The best time to fertilize olive trees is from late March to June and from August to November. This is when the trees are the most active and will be able to take up the most nutrients from the fertilizer.

If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, you may not need to fertilize your olive trees as often. This is because the rain will wash away any excess fertilizer that is not used by the trees.

Different Types Of Fertilizers

spatula filled with fertilizer

There are a variety of different fertilizers available for olive trees. However, there are two main types of fertilizers that you can buy:

  • One type is organic fertilizer, which is made from natural materials such as compost, manure, or bone meal. Organic fertilizers are slow-release, which means they provide the tree with nutrients gradually over time.
  • Another type of fertilizer is synthetic fertilizer, which is made from chemicals. Synthetic fertilizers work more quickly than organic fertilizers, but they can also be more harmful to the environment if they are not used properly.

Also, there are specific fertilizers depending on the ingredients your olive trees need. For example, if your olive trees are deficient in nitrogen, then you should use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. The same thing is true with potassium, phosphorus, and other nutrients.

The most common fertilizer for olive trees is a balanced fertilizer with a 16-16-16 composition. This type of fertilizer contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Bonus Tips For Fertilizing Olive Trees

Here are extra few things you should keep in mind when fertilizing olive trees:

1. Choose the right fertilizer. There are many different types of fertilizer available for olive trees, but not all of them will be appropriate for your trees. Make sure to choose a fertilizer that is specifically designed for olives.

2. Follow the instructions. Fertilizers come with instructions on how to use them properly. Make sure to follow these instructions carefully to avoid damaging your trees.

3. Be careful with synthetic fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers can be very powerful, so you need to be careful not to overapply them. If you use too much, you can actually damage your trees.

4. Test the soil before fertilizing. It is a good idea to test the soil before you start fertilizing. This will help you to determine what nutrients are already present in the soil and how much fertilizer you need to add.

5. Apply fertilizer evenly. Once you have determined how much fertilizer you need to add, make sure to apply it evenly throughout the root zone of the tree. Make sure not to apply fertilizer too close to the trunk.

6. Water regularly. Olive trees need to be watered regularly, especially during the hot summer months. Make sure to keep the soil around your trees moist enough. Here, you can check how much water olive trees need.

7. Don’t overdo it. It is possible to over-fertilize olive trees, which can damage the roots and make the tree more susceptible to disease. If you are unsure how much fertilizer to use, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

8. Be patient. It can take several months for the effects of fertilizer to show up. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.

9. Monitor the tree. Once you have started fertilizing your olive trees, it is important to monitor them closely. Look for signs of stress, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth. If you notice any problems, adjust your fertilizer regimen accordingly.

10. Get professional help. If you are having trouble fertilizing your olive trees, or if you are not sure how to do it properly, consider hiring a professional tree service. They will be able to help you choose the right fertilizer and apply it correctly.

Importance Of Fertilizing Olive Trees

Fertilizing olive trees is important for several reasons:

  • First, it helps the tree to take up essential nutrients that it needs to grow and produce olives.
  • Secondly, it can help to improve the quality of the olives themselves.
  • Finally, it can also help to increase the yield of olives from the tree.

If you never fertilize your olive trees, they will not grow as large as they could, and the quality of the olives will not be as good. Additionally, the yield of olives from the tree will be lower than it could be, which means that you’ll get less olive oil.


Fertilizing olive trees is important to their health and productivity. Without fertilizing, you won’t get the most out of olive trees – which translates to poor olive fruit quality or the poor quality of the oil.

I hope that now you understand the basics of fertilizing olive trees. With these tips in mind, you can help your olive trees grow and produce delicious olives!

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