Learn How To Propagate Olive Trees From Cuttings

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Olive trees can be propagated by three different propagation methods. These include olive tree cutting, air layering olive tree branches, and olive tree seeds.

In this post, I’ll show you the proper way of propagating olive trees from cuttings so they can grow into healthy plants that will yield a bunch of fruit in a few years.

Quick Steps To Propagate Olive Tree From Cutting:

  • Pick the right cutting (branch).
  • Prepare it for planting (remove leaves from the bottom half).
  • Plant it inside the pot and water regularly.
  • Take care of it, and move it into a larger pot when necessary.

How To Propagate an Olive Tree from Cuttings – Step-by-Step Guide

guy planting an olive tree cutting

There are four simple steps in total, and it’s pretty straightforward to follow this guide. I’ve been doing that for years, and the results are awesome.

1. Pick The Right Cutting

choosing olive tree cutting

Olive trees will have the best growth with softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings. Find a healthy branch that is under a year old, around the width of a pencil, and in good health.

Take an 8-inch semi-hardwood cutting from the end of an olive branch with a stem diameter of 1/4 inch. Cut it off 1/8 of an inch below a leaf node. Chop off the bottom four to six leaves, then wrap the branch’s end in a moist paper towel.

To reduce the danger of disease transmission, make sure your secateurs are clean and sharp before cutting.

2. Rooting Technique

removing leaves from olive tree cutting

Remove each leaf along the bottom portion of the cutting. Then, the leafless end of the olive cutting should be put in 0.2 percent IBA rooting talc. Tap the stem to remove any extra powder. Place the cuttings in a bright area away from direct sunlight and spray them daily.

3. Watering The Newly Potted Cutting

watering olive tree cutting

Water the newly potted cutting thoroughly until the water is dripping from the bottom of the pot. Every time you water the foliage, check the amount of moisture in the sand mixture. If the sand feels primarily dry in the top inch, add water.

Related: Best Soil Moisture Meters

Place the pot in a warm location that receives indirect sunshine and stays between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Constant Care

olive tree cutting in a bowl

Olive cuttings that have been rooted only need to be watered once per week.

Around a month after being rooted, they should be transplanted into 1-gallon nursery pots filled with potting soil, where they should be grown until autumn in light shade.

You can either place the cutting in a covered area of a greenhouse or somewhere in your home where it will receive indirect light to help prevent drying out. In the autumn, move it into a permanent location.

Benefits of Propagating Olive Trees

There are numerous advantages to cutting-based olive tree propagation over other methods.

  • Olive trees take too long to grow from seed. For instance, olive trees produced from seed can take up to 15 years to reach maturity, while olive trees developed from propagation often do so in 7–10 years.
  • You can keep antique olive tree varieties alive by propagating them.
  • You can grow several different types of olives on one tree using olive tree grafting procedures. For those with smaller yards, this choice is perfect.

When to Take Olive Tree Cutting

You should only use cuttings from olive trees that are at least four years old. Never start cutting olive trees in either their first or second year.

You should allow the tree to grow leaves throughout these initial years and encourage it to do so. A tree’s leaves provide food; thus, having a lot of leaves when the tree is young gives it plenty of energy for growth.

Just as the new growth is starting to harden in the summer, take an olive tree cutting. Wait to take a cutting from an olive tree until the olives are visible and the blossoms have faded.

Other Olive Tree Propagation Methods

Yes, there are two other possible methods of propagating olive trees. That involves propagating olive trees from seeds and propagating olives using the air layering method.

To grow an olive tree using a seed method, only olive seeds that have not been treated or soaked in oil, such as those you could get in a shop, can be used to germinate.

Air layering is when low-hanging branches meet the ground and then begin to form their own root system. This method of generating young olive trees is preferred by nurseries and horticulturists since the progeny will be genetically like the parent tree.


Can you root olive tree cuttings in water?

In water, olive tree cuttings won’t take root. However, you can begin the process of propagating olive tree cuttings by soaking fresh olive tree cuttings for the first two to three days in a cup of water before moving them to a pot with potting soil.

How long does it take for olive tree cuttings to root?

It will take the olive tree cutting approximately 3 months to root. Olive tree cuttings can take up to 4 weeks to begin developing roots, although this might vary depending on the species of tree and the environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and light.

Can you grow an olive tree from a branch?

Yes, a branch can grow into an olive tree. When you use an existing plant to grow another plant, the process of creating an olive tree is referred to as propagation.

How fast do olive trees grow?

Most olive trees grow at a rate of fewer than 12 inches per year, which is pretty slow compared to some other types of trees.

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