"Upon finding that I work as a professional bonsai artist, many people will remark that they once had a bonsai, but it died and with some regret, they gave up".
Based on the Bonsai Basics section of the hugely successful Bonsai4me.com website and an e-book of the same name, 'Bonsai Basics: The Foundations of Bonsai', written and developed over the past 15 years is out now!
All copies are signed by the author.
Olea Europaea is a tender evergreen that thrives in warm subtropical areas, growing to 10metres in height. It has opposite leathery, shiny, narrow dark-green leaves up to 6cm long. Small white flowers in the summer are followed by green olives which given a long enough period of warmth ripen to black. O. Europaea has light-grey bark which becomes particularly gnarled with age. This is a broad-leaved species that lends itself well to areas of deadwood.
Bonsai cultivation notes
Position Full sun. Though able to withstand temperatures to 0°C in its natural habitat, as a bonsai it should not be exposed to temperatures below 7°C. In frost-prone zones Olives are grown indoors, however to retain the health and vigour of the tree, placement outdoors from May until September is recommended.
Feeding Fortnightly from Spring to Autumn, do not feed during the Winter.
Repotting Every second year in Spring. Use a free draining mix.
Pruning Pinch back new growth regularly
Propagation Sow seed at 13-15°C in Spring, semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
Pests and diseases None other than scale insects.
Styles Suitable for all styles except broom and for all sizes.