Fragrant Tea Olive

Osmanthus_fragransThe Fragrant Tea Olive tree is an incredible evergreen with slow but steady growth. Plus it has an unforgettable fragrance makes it a great addition to your landscape or garden.  Line your walkway or even place them in containers on your deck or patio and surround yourself with the distinctive aroma that makes the Fragrant Tea Olive Tree live up to its name.

Location:  Before planting your Tea Olive in the ground, moisten the roots and set it in the shade for a few days.  When you’re ready to plant, place your Fragrant Tea Olive tree in full sun to partial shade avoiding deep shade.  Although clay, loam and sandy soil can accommodate your tree, try to choose a location with well-draining, slightly acidic soil.

Planting Instructions:

  1. Dig a hole about as deep as the root ball and about twice as wide.

  1. Set the tree in the hole, spreading out the roots over the surface of the hole.

  1. Fill the hole in with a mixture of the original soil and any additional topsoil required. Eliminate any air pockets that may have formed by tamping down firmly.

  1. Water the area until the top 3 inches of soil becomes moist but not soaked.

  1. Spread a layer of mulch about 3 inches surrounding the base of the tree.  Keep the mulch at least a few inches away from the trunk to prevent pests from becoming a problem.

  1. Fertilize the sweet olive in early spring before flowers bloom. Use an all-purpose dry fertilizer carefully following the directions on the package.  Spread the fertilizer around the circumference of the tree in a 4 inch layer.

  1. Once your Tea Olive flowers, prune to desired shape or to control height and width. Remove no more than one-third of each branch unless removing the branch entirely to reduce crowding.

Watering:  Water regularly in the first year after planting. Wait until the top 3 inches of soil dry out before watering again. Once established, water the plant with 1 inch of water a week. Soon after the first year your tea olive will become drought-tolerant and only need water during extended droughts.

Fertilization:  Apply a complete fertilizer in early spring such as 10-10-10, preferably one with slow-release nitrogen and follow the directions on the packaging.

teaolivePests:  The Tea Olive is relatively problem free, but it can be susceptible to scale if conditions are poor.  Disease problems are uncommon but may include bortryosphaeria canker, cercospora leaf spot, or anthracnose.  Effective and economical treatments are available at your local home and garden center.

Tips:

  • Use a 5-inch layer of compost, peat moss or aged manure around the planting at a depth of 6 to 9 inches area to improve soil conditions.
  • Avoid over-watering the sweet olive as it grows to discourage the growth of fungus.