How to Water an Olive Tree


Olive trees are as hardy as their reputation suggests. They can withstand high temperatures, low-fertility soil and extended periods of drought. However, in order for an olive tree to produce exceptional fruit, it does need to be watered intermittently during the growing season. An olive tree can survive on no supplemental watering at all, but during the hottest months of the year it may suffer from drought stress if not given supplemental water periodically.

Step 1

Water newly-planted olive trees whenever the top inch or so of the soil dries out. Apply the water all around the planting area and be sure that the soil is moist to the depth of the seedling's roots.

Step 2

Give your olive tree 4 to 5 inches of water once monthly. Apply the water all around the olive tree's root system, which extends several feet beyond the tree's drip line.

Step 3

Monitor your olive tree for signs of drought stress, such as wilted leaves or less-than-usual shoot growth, especially around fruiting time. When you notice these signs, water your olive tree with 4 to 5 inches of water.

Step 4

Water your olive tree with 2 to 3 inches of water after any fertilizer application.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose


  • University of California: Planting Olive Trees
  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Olive
  • Olive Tree Growers: The Care and Feeding of Olive Trees
  • International Society for Horticultural Science: Shrivelling of Olive Fruits Associated with Water Stress
Keywords: water olive, irrigation olive, drought olive

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.