Cutting an olive tree: when and how? Advice tips and tricks

Cuttings allow you to have several olive trees without breaking the bank. To obtain good results, you must of course choose the right period and carefully select the branches that will become young plants, then after 5 to 7 years can even begin to produce olives. Here is everything you need to know to successfully propagate an olive tree.

Best time for cutting the olive tree

The best time to take cuttings from an olive tree is between mid-July and mid-September. Success also depends on the choice of olive branches.

It is important to first select a healthy olive branchcompletely free from parasites, measuring at least 50 to 60 cm in length and counting several straight branches. The cut of this branch must be clean. Use a well-sharpened pruning shears that has been disinfected beforehand.

The twigs that will serve as cuttings should bear 8 pairs of leaves.

  • Bevel cut under the 6th pair of leaves,
  • Remove the lowest leaves in order to keep only the three pairs located at the top of the branches,
  • Dip the base of each twig in a root-forming powder that can be purchased at garden centers.

Planting olive cuttings

The twigs must be planted in a plastic tray type multiplication tray. It is important not to use a metal container because this material can rust.

  • Place at the bottom of the container:
    • first of all a drainage layer such as medium-grained gravel,
    • then from river sand on 5 good cm,
    • and finally 10 to 12 cm of substrate de type cuttings compost. You can also use perlitea volcanic siliceous sand which is sold in garden centers in the expanded form.
  • Prick the young plants into the substrate,
  • Pack well around the cuttings,
  • Water.

It is recommended to put a bell or a plastic film on the tank to create a confined atmosphere.

Caring for your olive cuttings

Once planted, olive cuttings must benefit from specific conditions for form roots, which takes about 4-5 weeks. These ideal conditions are:

  • A beautiful luminosity,
  • A temperature of 22 to 25°C during the day and 19 to 20°C at night,
  • No direct sun,
  • Significant humidity.

All olive branches installed in the propagation tray should be transplanted into individual pots or pots as soon as they have enough roots. the repotting can be done about 6 to 7 weeks after placing in substrate.

Thereafter, it’s all a matter of patience. The olive tree is a Mediterranean tree with slow growing. It therefore takes years before you can harvest olives and even more to benefit from its shade. In our most southern regions, young olive trees from cuttings can be installed in the groundwhereas elsewhere, it is better to opt to cultivate olive trees in pots in order to shelter them if the winters are harsh.

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