Olive Tree Loosing Leaves

(Don Barker) #1

I am a newbie at bonsai and I started a dwarf olive about 6 weeks ago. It is now loosing leaves at an alarming rate

but parts of the plant seem healthy.

I ask Donna Lynn Any form our local society and she suggested I post here and see if anyone has any ideas on what I am doing wrong.

(Frank Corrigan) #2

Could you describe what steps you took to start it six weeks ago?


Hi, I have the chance to work on Mediterranean species and I own many olives.
Generally olives are strong trees but they are highly susceptible to three factors: level of drainage of the soil mix, air temperature and light exposure. They grow slowly in clay soils and soils with high water-retention capacity: olives’ roots love air and dry soils (best mix in my opinion: 30% pumice - 30% lava - 30% compost). Consider that many olives thrive in dry sunny lands (i.e. Southern Italy, Greece). The soil mix you are using, in my opinion, looks a bit compact and sandy; moreover the depth of the pot could (my guess) enhance water retention in the root area. If this is the case, leaves turn yellow and fall. I’d change the watering schedule and place it in full sun until it recovers and then repot it in a different soil mix.