Sweet Olive or Fragrant Tea Olive
An evergreen shrub from China Osmanthus fragrans is not only grown for the sweetly fragrant flowers but also as a hedging plant. The flowers were traditionally used to flavour deserts as well as tea in China.
Characterises by an upright growth habit and large glossy foliage this is a useful shrub that is also used in topiary. This is a shrub that will flower from Fall through to Spring depending on climate zone.
How to Grow Sweet Olive
- A humus rich well drained soil is best.
- Choose a position in full sun to a little shade.
- The best position is near a pathway where the fragrance of the plant can be appreciated.
- Mulch around the plant too maintain a cool moist root run.
- Water well through the first few summers.
- Fertilize with a slow release organic type fertilizer in spring.
Pruning Sweet Olive
This is an evergreen shrub and the best time to prune Osmanthus fragrans is immediately after flowering.
- Lack of water and very low humidity can cause leaves to drop.
- Sudden changes in temperature can be a problem if moving potted plants from indoors or a sheltered position to outdoors.
- Lack of light – This can cause spindly or leggy growth as well as poor leaf colour.
- Pests – Watch out for scale insects, sap sucking insects, aphids and fungal problems with potted plants
- Botanical Name – Osmanthus fragrans
- Common Names – Sweet Olive or Fragrant Tea Olive
- Height – To around 12ft (4m)
- Spread – To a width of around 6ft (2m)
- Growth Rate – Slow to medium.
- Foliage – Broad leaf glossy green
- Flowers – White to yellow
- Flowering time – Fall to Spring depending on climate zone.
- USDA Zones – Zone: 7B – 9B.
- Soil pH – 5 – 7
- Drought Tolerant – Medium
- Frost Tolerant – Light frosts only, heavy frosts will inhibit flowering.
- Salt Tolerant – No