Little Ollie olive trees are non-fruiting olive trees that work well as small landscape trees and shrubs. Depending on the size of the container, Little Ollies can be kept as a bonsai or can be allowed to grow to between 4 and 6 feet tall. Little Ollies, with the right care, water and light, are not difficult to grow and maintain.
Potted Little Ollies
Keep your Little Ollie olive tree in the sun. This tree does best with at least 8 hours of sun per day.
Water your Little Ollie as soon as you notice the top 1/4 inch of soil in its pot is dry. Although it is drought tolerant, it does best with adequate water.
Prune your Little Ollie in the spring. Because this tree doesn't produce fruit, prune for a shape that you find attractive and to encourage health. Prune from the bottom up and from the inside out. Be sure to look at your tree from all angles as you prune to make sure it is well balanced.
Remove your tree from its pot once every two years. Either repot the tree in a larger pot or prune the roots back by between 1/3 and 1/2 to maintain the tree's size. Once you have pruned the roots, repot the tree in the original pot. Keep your Little Ollie in soil that drains well when repotting.
Outdoor Little Ollies
Make sure your Little Ollie olive tree gets plenty of direct sun. Keep plants that could shade your Little Ollie pruned back.
Water your Little Ollie during the first year whenever your Little Ollie dries out. As the tree becomes established, water every 2 to 4 weeks after the first year if your area doesn't get much rain.
Fertilize in the early spring before the Little Ollie starts to grow. Use a balanced fertilizer optimized for trees, or a general balanced fertilizer.
Prune your Little Ollie in the spring. Prune your Little Ollie from the bottom up and from the inside out, just as you would with a potted tree. Use sharp pruning shears and try to thin out the top areas to allow sun to reach the lower parts of the tree. For shrubs, prune as you would any other shrub.
About this Author
Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.