How to Plant an Olive Tree From a Seed


Olives are popular for their oil and culinary uses. Gardeners can use the pit of an olive to grow a tree from seed. The majority of seed-propagated trees will not bear fruit. Sandy soil and warm temperatures promote the best growth for olive trees. The evergreen makes an interesting conversation piece as the focal point for the front yard. An ornamental olive tree can provide shade when it reaches a mature height of approximately 50 feet and canopy of 30 feet.

Step 1

Remove a pit from an olive.

Step 2

Fill a shallow dish with peat. Insert the olive seed in the center of the peat, making certain the seed is covered.

Step 3

Moisten the peat with water. Cover with plastic wrap. Place several holes in the plastic wrap to provide air circulation to the olive seed.

Step 4

Keep the soil moist during the germination process. Wait approximately three weeks for the seed to germinate and produce a sprout.

Step 5

Mix 1/4 cup sand, 1/2 cup peat and 2 cups potting soil. Fill a 10-inch potting container halfway with the mixture.

Step 6

Place the olive seedling on top of the soil inside the potting container. Cover the roots from the seedling with additional soil mixture. Place the container in a sunny window to receive a daily minimum of six hours of full sun.

Step 7

Keep the soil moist as the olive tree seedling matures. Remove all growth from the bottom quarter of the seedling when the tree reaches a minimum height of 6 inches.

Step 8

Transplant the olive tree outdoors when it is a minimum of 2 feet tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting the olive seed soggy for the highest germination success.

Things You'll Need

  • Olive pit
  • Shallow dish
  • Peat
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sand
  • Potting soil


  • "Olive Propagation Manual"; Andrea Fabbri, Giorgio Bartolini, Maurizia Lambardi, Stanley George Kailis; 2004
Keywords: olive tree seed, olive seed, growing olive tree

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.