The production of olives dates back to Biblical references in the Mediterranean area. The olive tree is a fruiting evergreen tree that is native to the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia. Olive trees have a gnarled trunk and produce white flowers that turn into the olive fruit. The tree grows best in full sun conditions where the soil is alkaline up to a pH of 8.5. Olive trees are considered hardy and will grow up to 100 years when given the proper growing conditions.
Cut a section of two year old semi-hardwood growth that is ½ inch wide and 4 to 6 inches in length. Remove all lower leaves so 2 to 4 sets are remaining.
Wound the lower portion of the cutting by making small cuts with a clean sharp knife around the stem.
Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone designed for hard to propagate cuttings. Gently tap the end of the cutting to remove excess hormone.
Prepare a rooting tray by filling it with sterile rooting medium that has been moistened. Create your own medium by mixing 9 parts perlite to 1 part peat moss. Stick the cut end into the rooting medium and firm the soil to hold in place.
Cover the tray with a clear plastic covering to assist with moisture control. Place the tray in a warm location. Mist the cuttings periodically to prevent soil drying.
Transplant the cuttings into 2 inch pots once rooting is established. This will take approximately 45 days, and up to 6 months. The cuttings are ready for transplanting once there are several healthy white roots on the cutting.
Continue to monitor the cuttings and protect them from cold weather and dry conditions.