Growing And Caring For Black Olive Tree: Everything you must know!

Growing And Care For Black Olive Tree
Growing And Care For Black Olive Tree

In addition to their distinctive appearance, black olive trees also offer tremendous benefits found in several studies.

Black olive trees, scientifically called Terminalia buceras, produce a small, black seed capsule and grow about 40 to 50 feet (12.2 to 15.24 meters) tall. Also, a black olive tree is a beautiful evergreen tree with a smooth trunk that holds up strong, wind-resistant branches. It will form a pyramidal shape when young, but as it ages, it will develop a very dense, full, oval to rounded crown with age. (Source: University of Florida)

Read on to find out how to grow and care for black olive trees properly. If you are interested in growing and caring for normal olive trees, I wrote a whole article where I discussed growing and caring for olive trees.

General Characteristics Of Black Olive Trees

Black olives, or Terminalia buceras, are very tolerant to salt spray and drought tolerant once fully grown. Moreover, black olive trees don’t grow fast and thrive in full sun to part shade conditions. They also prefer well-drained soils which are low in pH. 

The table contains the general characteristics of black olive trees. 

Genus NameTerminalia Buceras
Common Name– Black olive
– Oxhorn bucida
– Shady lady black olive
Plant typeTree
Mature sizeHeight: 40 to 50 feet (12.2 to 15.24 meters)
Spread: 35 to 50 feet (10.67 to 15.24 meters)
Life CycleWoody
Soil Drainage– Moist but well-drained
Best Soil Type – Sand
– Loam
– Clay
– Acidic
– Alkaline
Sun exposureLike the other type of olive trees, black olive trees require full sun to partial shade, about six or more hours of direct sunlight daily (Source: North Carolina State University)
Propagation– Seed
– Stem Cutting
Flower colorCreamy yellow to light brown
Olive trees flower bloom time– Spring and summer
Drought toleranceBlack olive trees are highly resistant to drought
Pest resistanceBlack olive trees are resistant to pests and diseases
Maintenance requirementsMedium to low
Soil pH5.5 to 8.5
Temperature requirements– Between 60-68 °F (15-20 °C), black olive tree might be slightly damaged at 32°F and even killed at 25°F. 
Diseases and pestsNo pests or diseases are of significant concern, but they are occasionally disturbed by:
– Sooty mold and bark borer
– Eryphide mites cause galls, but no control is required.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone10 to 11
Region Of OriginWest Indies
The table displays the general characteristics of black olive trees (Source: University of Florida)

Shady Lady Black Olive Tree Pros And Cons

There are several advantages and disadvantages to adding black olives to your garden or the landscape. Here are a few shady lady black olive tree pros and cons:

1- Unique and Charming Appearance

Shady lady black olive trees have a unique trunk, with the bark peeling off in a patchwork style, revealing grey, green, and orangey surfaces beneath.

The branches are slender and graceful, with delicate leaves that emit a silver-green hue. The tree’s allure is further enhanced by the small white flowers that appear during spring, adding a touch of elegance and charm to its appearance.

2- Adaptable Nature

The Black Olive tree can grow in diverse environments, making it an excellent choice for gardeners with varying climates. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and can withstand drought and moderate salt spray.

The tree can grow up to 40 feet tall and wide, and its roots tend to be moderate to invasive. A black olive tree is ideal for landscapes, patios, and sidewalks, and its adaptable nature makes it an excellent choice for soil remediation in degraded urban landscapes and public spaces.

3- Low Maintenance

The black olive tree requires minimal upkeep and maintenance, making it an ideal option for busy individuals or anyone looking for a low-maintenance landscape.

It thrives in various soil types, including sandy, loamy, or clay soils, and a black olive tree is tolerant of salt spray and wind. Moreover, it’s a rather hardy tree, and it’s not susceptible to many pests or diseases.

By pruning dead or diseased branches, you can keep the tree healthy, and it’ll flourish on its own with just a little watering and fertilizing.

4- Black Olives are Frost Sensitive

Black Olive trees hold a special place in many cultures and are a symbol of peace, love, and life; however, they are also frost sensitive and will be slightly damaged at 32 °F. At 25 °F, black olives might also die (Source: University of Florida)

5- Black Olives Sensitive to Some Pests And Diseases

Shady lady black olive can occasionally become infested with a tiny caterpillar, causing temporary partial defoliation. The good news is that any leaves usually lost quickly regrow.

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Wrapping Up

A black olive tree is a symbol of resilience, adaptability, and cultural significance. By adding it to your garden, you can enjoy its unique and charming appearance.

Additionally, the black olive tree’s low-maintenance nature makes it an attractive choice for those who have limited time, budget, or space.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind Plants Heaven is a blog that shares information about preparing, creating, and maintaining gardens in and out of your home, regardless of where you live. My goal is to help you learn to love gardening and reap the benefits that come with it. I am still learning; therefore, the information I share on this site may not always be “expert” advice or information. But, I do my VERY best to make sure the information shared on this blog is both accurate and helpful.

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