Most holiday decorations and Christmas trees have been taken down and packed away. But there’s another holiday you should be mindful of: National Houseplant Appreciation Day – which is today.

Cami Jacobson, who is the president of the Minnehaha County Master Gardeners, probably already knew that.

No doubt she’s already had a fiesta with her Ficus, and a shindig with her succulents. But she’s managed to replant herself in our studio so she could give Ashley Thompson’s olive tree a reason to celebrate, too.

Romain calm and lettuce show you how to propagate vegetables

Tips for growing an olive tree successfully indoors

  1. Choose the right variety of olive tree. There are some small regular varieties that can be pruned to fit indoors. Otherwise dwarf varieties are very good choices.
  2. Choose a good-sized pot with drainage holes in the bottom. This will give the roots lots of space to grow and you won’t have to transplant as soon.
  3. Use cactus soil because olives need good drainage. Don’t use potting soil or compost.
  4. Water thoroughly weekly for the first year. 
  5. Place olive tree in a sunny window where it gets 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Supplement with grow lights to get to this amount. 
  6. Don’t let leaves touch the window. It will burn them. 
  7. Keep an eye out for pests like scale and spittlebugs. Olive trees are very susceptible to these. Treat right away.
  8. Olive trees prefer 60-85 degrees. 
  9. Fertilize regularly.
  10. Indoor olive trees only live about 9 years.

Tips to get an olive tree to bear fruit

Give olive tree about 300 hours of chill hours (time spent during the wintertime below 50 degrees). These hours don’t need to be consecutive; this is just total hours. 

Preserve your poinsettias, take down your tree and start your spring garden

Ashley's olive tree when it was a baby
Ashley’s olive tree when it was a baby