How to Make an Olive Tree Into a Bonsai
The olive bonsai tree is an ideal selection for bonsai enthusiasts. The tree is a slow growing, hardy tree that develops a dense trunk and a natural pyramidal shape. The olive bonsai tree’s soft and pliable wood makes it ideal for shaping and pruning. This bonsai, with the right care, will produce comparable sized, edible olives during the early fall.
Select a container for the young olive tree. Choose a plastic container over a clay one to promote consistent moisture levels. Pick a container has a depth that is equivalent to the tree’s diameter with a diameter that is at least one third of the tree’s height. Ensure that the container has a good drainage system at its bottom.
Plant the olive bonsai tree in a somewhat sandy loam. Create this environment by mixing nutrient rich soil with equal amounts of peat compost and fine, clean sand. Place a layer of soil at the bottom of the container. Position the olive bonsai tree in the center of the container and fill the container with the remaining soil.
Water the bonsai regularly as the tree requires. Saturate the tree until the excess water pours from the drainage system. Allow the soil to near drying levels before watering again. However, never allow the tree to dry out completely. Check the soil’s moisture levels regularly. Place your finger in the soil approximately one to two inches deep. Water when levels feel low.
Place the olive bonsai tree in a warm location. Choose a location that provides at least six hours of full to partially shaded sunlight each day, morning sunlight is preferred. Select a location that has an average temperature between 60 and 70 degrees F. Avoid temperatures below 46 degrees F.
Feed the olive bonsai tree during its growing season from early spring through late fall. Select a well balanced, slow release fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and micronutrients. Apply the fertilizer monthly using half strength.
Prune the olive bonsai tree during the spring, and as needed. Cut back any dying, wilted, or damaged branches. Remove any unwanted foliage. Complete all cuts in an angular direction to promote rapid healing. Pinch away any downwardly growing new growth.
Apply wire to young olive bonsai trees to promote the intended shape and framework. Avoid using wire as it may damage and cut into the branches and trunk of the olive bonsai. Use raffia to wrap around the branches and trunk to develop shape. Allow the raffia to remain in place for at least six months. Trim the raffia from the wrapped locations. Do not unravel.