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Old 22.10.2010, 09:58
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Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

We have an Olive tree in a pot in the garden. I understand that in winter, they prefer to be kept at a temperature of between +7 and +15'C.

Last year, we put ours in our garden tool store but the temperature in there is kept high as it is part of the flat, well insulated and above the boiler room.

Most of its leaves fell of and it got a sticky aphid infestation - basically it wasn't well.

So, what do you do? Last winter we had very low temperatures and I'm not sure it would survive outside wrapped in fleece with the pot wrapped in bubble wrap.


We get limited sun in our garden in the winter.

Any one with any experience prepared to share their thoughts?
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Old 22.10.2010, 10:00
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

We wrapped ours in that fleecy stuff and left it outside.

It almost died - but has come back again quite strongly - but the shape is buggered.

This year we will be taking the plants to our other house and keeping them in the cellar - which was where the previous owner kept his - and they were nice and healthy.
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Old 22.10.2010, 10:03
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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We wrapped ours in that fleecy stuff and left it outside.

It almost died - but has come back again quite strongly - but the shape is buggered.

This year we will be taking the plants to our other house and keeping them in the cellar - which was where the previous owner kept his - and they were nice and healthy.
Thanks for the reply.

What temperature was the cellar?

Did the plants mind having no light (or did the cellar have windows)?
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Old 22.10.2010, 10:06
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

I have this problem with my citruc trees, I wrap the pot with Xmas fairy lights, keeps the soil about +25C, then I leave in a south facing window
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Old 22.10.2010, 10:23
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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Thanks for the reply.

What temperature was the cellar?

Did the plants mind having no light (or did the cellar have windows)?
The house is one of those old fashioned places built on a hill - the cellar is at ground level from the garden. It is insulated and it is south facing with a 1.2m wide window.

We didn't do it last year as we only bought the house in June. Those plants we did bring into the flat - died!
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Old 22.10.2010, 10:37
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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We have an Olive tree in a pot in the garden. I understand that in winter, they prefer to be kept at a temperature of between +7 and +15'C.


Never mind winter. How did it survive last summer?

I don't have any direct experience, but when I see tropical plants out and about in winter - you know what I mean - they tend to be tied and wrapped up in insulating materials, including a layer of bubble wrap, then (I guess) coconut matting.

Cellars tend to be a nice regular temp. If you are worried about light, why not get a small UV lamp and stick it on a timer so that you can just give it a couple of hours' exposure a day, without having to think about it?
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Old 22.10.2010, 10:38
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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I have this problem with my citruc trees, I wrap the pot with Xmas fairy lights, keeps the soil about +25C, then I leave in a south facing window
Is this inside or outside?

Are the lights performing a heating function?

And do you keep the lights on the whole time?
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Old 22.10.2010, 11:33
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

I've got a small one in my garden. I just put a pot on it and some leafs.

Snow then keep it protected from the cold.
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Old 22.10.2010, 11:59
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

We are bringing the citrus tree inside. Olive trees are also not quite so picky. It should be fine with 22-25C over the winter. So make some room and bring them in
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:02
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

Many of the bigger garden centers will put your plants in their glass houses for the winter. I don't know how much it costs, you will have to ask. Hurry up though we have just had a second frosty night here.
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:06
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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We are bringing the citrus tree inside. Olive trees are also not quite so picky. It should be fine with 22-25C over the winter. So make some room and bring them in
Is that from experience? As I said, mine didn't like a warm temperature last year.
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:10
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

It is from experience in Cyprus and in northern US. Not in Switzerland. They care more about the humidity and the light than the temperature.

But if you are quite devoted to this tree, you are better off asking a larger garden center to winter it in their greenhouse, just like Ittigen suggested. Do they have some sort of a guarantee? I wonder... perhaps they'd give you a new one if yours died... huh... that'd be good...
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:12
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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It is from experience in Cyprus and in northern US. Not in Switzerland. They care more about the humidity and the light than the temperature.

But if you are quite devoted to this tree, you are better off asking a larger garden center to winter it in their greenhouse, just like Ittigen suggested. Do they have some sort of a guarantee? I wonder... perhaps they'd give you a new one if yours died... huh... that'd be good...
I'm not too bothered about the tree - I would quite happy if it didn't die.

It's interesting what you said about the light - it did not get much light last winter - perhaps that's the answer. I'll bring it in and leave it in a not-too-warm but sunny place.

Thanks!
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:14
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

I actually know nothing about how to get around this problem, but If I could throw an idea out there:

The lamps that you hang over fish tanks cover a pretty broad spectrum of light (you need to balance the UV (ultra violet) and IR (infra red)) for the plant to photosynthesise properly.

The lights are fluorescent so they are cheap to opperate.

Day length
Plants also opperate in daylength cycles so I would also suggest ducking down to a Jumbo store (or something similar) and purchase a 'timer' (only a couple of bucks).

Thinking about a Mediteranean winter climate (I don't know) I would think that the winter daylength is around 11-12hours, so match that with your timer for the fluoro light.

Definitely keep the soil temp over 7 degrees.

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I'm also curious about the fairy lights?
Do you do this for warmth or light? (If it's light, the wavelengths will be strongly IR and no UV).

Another thing.... wrapping it around the pot, how do you water the plant without blowing the lights or frying yourself.

I actually think this is a great idea, but I would like to know a bit more about the 'method behind the madness'.
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:45
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

Olives are not from a "tropical" climate. They survive very severe changes in temerature every year for a hundred years and more!
But they are fond of lots lof daylight.
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:48
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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Olives are not from a "tropical" climate. They survive very severe changes in temerature every year for a hundred years and more!
But they are fond of lots lof daylight.
But, natively, they grown in the ground and not a pot, and young ones are much more tender.

But, I agree, a mature tree in a south-facing garden shouldn't have much trouble here.
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:48
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

The mediteranean isn't tropical
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:49
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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The mediteranean isn't tropical
That's what he said
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Old 22.10.2010, 12:59
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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That's what he said
Oh,
Yeah.... BIG Sorry for you Mabern, I read that post too quickly.

Thanks for pointing that out Tom1234.



Anyway,
Agreed that Olives can handle much greater temperature fluctuations than you think. I don't know a lot about Olives, but I do know that the closer they grow to the Tropic lines, the less Generative (produce less olives) they become, and increasingly Vegetative.


I'm still curious about the fairy lights though.
If you can supply a bit of heat and InfaRed light, I really don't think this is such a bad idea.... particularly if it does work.
You still need to add UV light, and I think we have a winner here.

Last edited by TidakApa; 22.10.2010 at 12:59. Reason: .
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Old 22.10.2010, 14:52
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Re: Over-wintering potted Olive tree?

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Is this inside or outside?

Are the lights performing a heating function?

And do you keep the lights on the whole time?

Hi, it's inside, yes the fairly lights helps keep the soil warmer than the room, hence the roots are able to feed water to the plant. The biggest reason for plants dying in winter is not the leaves falling off or the tree getting too cold, it's the roots freezing and not beign able to supply the tree. Fairly lights work a treat.

Yes I keep them on 24/7, for my large 7 foot tree, but smaller ones only need a few hours overnight to raise the temperature sufficiently.
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