There are plenty of studies that suggest indoor plants come with a slew of health benefits, like potentially reducing stress and boosting productivity levels. But plants also make a living room, bathroom, kitchen or home office feel fresher and put-together. The real question is, why wouldn’t you spruce up your space with a little greenery? Especially trendy greenery like an indoor olive tree?
Over the past year plenty of plant consumers have been bringing their love of olive trees indoors, says third-generation Canadian Chief Daymaker Will Heeman of Heeman’s Garden Centre in London, Ont. He adds the trend has been slowly growing since 2018, but in 2021 the demand for indoor olive trees was the highest yet.
“Nothing touches the Winter/Spring of ’21,” he says. “[So far] demand is lower this year than before but the tone and vibe of olives are still on-trend, we feel, and demand is still good for this plant.”
Why You Should Invest in an Indoor Olive Tree
According to Heeman, olive trees bring a calm and simple elegance to any space, while their silvery-blue foliage is on-trend with a lot of the modern white décor and black accents currently seen in homes. These are all fine esthetic reasons to invest in an indoor olive tree to be sure, but if you’re looking to purchase one because you have big ambitions of pressing your own olive oil or sun-drying some of the fruit this summer, you may be disappointed.
“It takes several years for these trees to produce actual olives (usually black),” Heeman says. However, with the increase in demand for olive trees indoors, newer varieties have been springing up. Some of them are self-pollinating, which means you don’t need more than one tree to produce actual fruit.
Types of Olive Trees
There are more than a thousand types of olive tree varieties out there, however, Heeman reveals in North America the options are far fewer — especially for home plant owners. He says that if you can find an Arbequina olive tree, that is the most ideal type to grow indoors in colder climates since they’re self-fertile and can produce fruit within two-to-four years. However, since many plant stores are just starting to stock these trees in the wake of their newfound popularity, buyers should purchase what they can find.
The Best Olive Tree Care
There’s a reason many of us associate olive trees with Greece or Spain: they thrive in Mediterranean climates with warmer temperatures, high humidity and longer days. The good news is that even if you live in a colder climate, by bringing your olive tree indoors you can recreate these conditions in your home and help the plant thrive.
“It’s best to keep olive trees near a bright window, one that faces south or west is ideal,” says Heeman. “If you can, avoid growing olive trees near a drafty window or exterior door where they’ll be blasted with cold temperatures regularly during winter. The less major changes the better.”
He stresses these are not starter plants, and aren’t as easy to grow and maintain as many other common household plants. “They require specific care and growing conditions to survive and thrive indoors long-term,” he explains. “These are living things and sometimes the space we want to grow them in to complete the look we’re going for is just not the right one for the plant.”
Accessories, like a grow light or a humidifier in the winter are ideal. “These two things can be your friend, not only for olives but lots of beautiful plants that we covet and want in a particular indoor space that isn’t exactly ideal for the plant-care requirements,” he adds.
1. Arbequina Olive Tree from Fast Growing Trees
Indoor olive trees may be harder to grow than traditional houseplants, but Arbequina olives are easier than some other varieties thanks to their ability to grow in spite of pests or the occasional missed watering. These trees can even survive outdoors in temperatures as low as 10 degrees, so long as they’re blocked from harsh winds.
2. Brighter Blooms Arbequina Olive Tree
Get an Arbequina Olive Tree delivered right to your front door via Amazon, which ships these trees across the country (except to Arizona). It’s important to note these are not mature plants, but you can rest assured that if you aren’t satisfied with your delivery you can request a resolution within 30 days of receipt.
3. Leccino Olive Tree
Leccino olive trees are grown worldwide, which makes them adaptable to different soils and weather conditions. They’re best grown indoors in a container and can only be placed outside in warmer climates. It’s also important to note these definitely grow more like a tree rather than a low-limbed shrub like some other olive varieties out there.
4. Manzanillo Olive Tree
When properly maintained, this beautiful olive tree grows pretty white flowers in the summer and plump green olives in the autumn. It also has a unique, twisted trunk, which adds to its overall visual appeal. These trees are a little harder to maintain than others and need well-draining soil with low moisture, as well as full sun exposure if you really want them to thrive.
5. Artificial VYNT Olive Tree
Not sure you have what it takes to maintain your own indoor olive tree? We don’t blame you. Luckily you can still get in on this trendy plant with an artificial version. This beautiful tree is realistic and comes in a pretty pot, and other than the occasional dusting, it’s essentially maintenance-free.