Make us your home page

Ask Dr. Hort: Why hasn't olive tree yielded fruit?

It would be fruitful to learn more about olive tree

Q: I bought an olive tree about five years ago. I was told I'd get olives the next year, but that hasn't happened. Do you have any advice or suggestions on how and when I'll get olives? Do I need another "mate" to get fruit? Thanks for your help, always appreciated.

A: What would be really helpful is the cultivar, the name of the plant. The scientific name (Olea europaea) has many cultivars, which are used as the common name of the plant most of the time. In general, depending on the cultivar, it takes anywhere from three to 12 years to fruit, and, if grown from seed, it may never fruit. Some cultivars such as "Leccino" or "Pendolino" need a pollinator. "Arbequina" and "Koroneiki" both fruit around three years and are self-fertile. So, it's all in the name. Try to find out the "Cultivar" name from where you purchased your olive, then you can research its culture, care and fruiting time.

No disease here, just nutritional deficiency

Q: What is attacking my poor palms and how can I get rid of "it"? Would removing infected fronds be a solution? I hate using insecticides.

A: Not to worry. Your Phoenix palms are suffering from malnutrition, lacking mainly magnesium and potassium. Begin fertilizing with a quality palm product such as 8-2-12. The marginal scale problem can be pruned off and will disappear as your palms become more healthy.

Need help? Dr. Hort (Greg Charles) answers questions about garden problems. E-mail him at or mail questions to HomeLink, Features Department, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Describe problem in full, and include your name, city of residence and contact information. If possible, include a good-quality photo. Fuzzy ones won't do. Photos cannot be returned.

Ask Dr. Hort: Why hasn't olive tree yielded fruit? 11/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours