Olea europea (Olive) seeds
Half Hardy Tree
Height: to 10m but can be pruned to any size
Position: Full sun and wall protection
Packet of 20 or 100 seeds
These seeds have a double dormancy which needs to be broken before they will germinate, ie., they need to go through a process which simulates the changing seasons.
Sowing Instructions: Sow at any time of the year. Soak seeds for 24 hours in water which starts off hand hot. Sow in pots of moist, loam based seed compost (eg. John Innes) mixed with perlite, vermiculite or horticultural grit, cover with a thin layer of compost, perlite or vermiculite and seal inside a polythene bag. Maintain an optimum temperature of 18-21C for 4 weeks, then place the pots in the fridge for a further 4 months. Then, return to 18-21C and germination should take place within the next few months. Throughout this process check regularly and ensure the compost does not dry out.
Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots. The little trees are best grown on in pots in a heated greenhouse/conservatory for the first few years. In mild winter areas, plant out once established in a sunny position against a sheltered south or west facing wall, or in pots of well-drained compost and protect from freezing temperatures with fleece. Alternatively they can be grown in indoors away from sources of direct heat and will benefit from a spell outdoors in mild weather.