Is It Safe To Repot An Olive Tree? (Detailed Answer)

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  • Post category:Olive Trees
  • Post last modified:January 30, 2022
olive tree in a pot, outside

Lately, more and more people like to grow olive trees in pots and keep the trees on the balconies or indoors. Since olive trees aren’t as flowers and their roots expand all the time, they’ll require repotting every few years. But is it safe to repot an olive tree? Will transplanting it to larger pot damage it? I’ll discuss all that in today’s article and share with you my advice.

As long as you follow guidelines, it’s entirely safe to repot an olive tree. Also, not only it’s safe, it’s obligatory to repot it once the tree becomes too large for a pot. Repotting it to a larger container allows it to continue growing and developing trunk, branches, and roots.

As you can see from the quick answer, it’s safe to repot an olive tree. Of course, you have to follow some guidelines to do it properly, and I’ll show you a few things you should pay attention to avoid making any mistakes when transplanting it.

Guidelines To Follow When Repotting Olive Trees

In order to keep the repotting process safe for the tree, you should follow some guidelines. So, here they are:

  • Don’t repot the tree for no reason
  • Choose at least 2 inches larger pot than the old one
  • Use a pot with drainage holes (obligatory) – olive trees don’t grow well in too wet soils, and the drainage hole will let the water out of the containers, which is extremely important.
  • Put some grit at the bottom of the pot to get even better drainage, put some grit, gravels, or stones at the bottom of the pot. That’ll allow the excess water from the soil to drain easier.
  • Use clay or wood containers only – avoid using plastic containers because they don’t drain the water as well as wood or clay containers.
  • Gently tease off the old soil from the roots – old soil is already empty with nutrients, and teasing it off from the roots will allow new compost to get closer to the roots and feed them.
  • Use a well-draining soil type – olive trees don’t like wet soils. So, make sure to buy some well-draining kind of soil. You can make it by yourself by mixing potting soil and perlite or small rocks.
  • Add fertilizers to the soil – it’s essential to add some fertilizers to the soil, giving the soil essential vitamins and minerals for healthy olive growth. TreeHelp Premium Fertilizer For Olive (check the price on Amazon now) is an excellent product for that purpose.
  • Try to do it in spring
  • Be as gentle as possible, don’t force anything.

If you need a complete guide on repotting olive trees, here’s a great one.

Why Repotting Is Important

As I already say at the beginning of the article, not only transplanting olive trees is safe, but it’s also essential to keep them as healthy as possible.

Reasons why repotting is important:

  • Olive trees will get a new soil that is full of essential nutrients for the plant
  • Transplanting olive trees to a larger container will allow them to grow even more
  • Small containers keep the roots from developing, and that may have bad consequences for the tree
  • Containers aren’t a natural area for olive trees, and because of that, they should be updated every few years

I know many people who had problems with their olive trees in pots. They asked me for advice, and I told them to repot the trees, and after they listened to my advice, the trees healed quickly and started growing again.

How Often To Repot An Olive Tree

Now you probably wonder how often to repot olive trees. Especially after I mentioned that they shouldn’t be repotted for no reason.

Well, in general, you should repot olive trees:

  • If they stayed in the same pot for 3-4 years.
  • If the tree becomes too large for the container, and the container is damaged because of root development.
  • If the tree isn’t healthy and is dying, repotting it may save its life.

If you follow a general rule of repotting the olive tree every 3-4 years, situations with unhealthy growth or oversizing a container will probably never happen.

Also, whenever you repot an olive tree, make sure always to choose a larger pot. It should be at least 2 inches larger than the old one, and that way, the plant will have more room to grow.

What If You Never Repot An Olive Tree

The worst thing you can do is leave the olive tree in the same pot and never transplant it to a new container.

Nutrients from the soil will be fully consumed, and the ground won’t be suitable for olive growth, leading to the tree’s death.

In order to grow correctly, olive trees need well-developed roots. By keeping them in the same container for a long time, roots won’t grow anymore, and they won’t be able to absorb enough healthy nutrients from the ground.

With time, the drainage properties of the soil inside the container will lower, and the soil will keep the water instead of draining it. Remember, olive trees don’t like wet ground. Of course, they need water, but the soil shouldn’t be too moist.

Moist soil is hazardous in winter when the temperatures are going down. Olive trees can handle the colder temperatures, but if the soil is too wet, it’ll freeze, and the plant may die. That’s why well-draining kinds of soil are essential for olive trees.


By following the guidelines I showed you above in the article, the process of repotting olive trees will be completely safe for them. I hope you understood everything and gave you a thorough enough answer with all the essential information.

Even though the ground is the best natural area for growing olive trees, they can grow healthy inside the pots, but they should be transplanted regularly. That way, trees can live longer, as long as you have a large enough pot and a place where they can get enough sun every day.

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