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The olive tree is becoming increasingly popular as a balcony and container plant. At the latest when the temperatures drop, the question arises as to whether the plant is also hardy or at least winterproof. This is necessary in order to be able to take the appropriate protective measures and successfully bring olive trees through the cold season. We explain which varieties are suitable and which winter protection is still advisable.

Hardy or hardy - the differences

In order to find suitable varieties when choosing, the difference between the terms should first be clear.

Hardy olive trees can be found in regions with mild winters stand outdoors. However, they only withstand frost to a limited extent. It is therefore important to protect them well. In colder or longer winters, however, they should be brought indoors. Otherwise they could be damaged or even die.

Hardy olive trees, on the other hand, hold up stronger frost over a longer period of time. Overwintering outdoors is therefore possible without any problems. To prevent frostbite, some protective measures can still be useful. However, if an olive tree is hardy, the risk of damage is lower.

Hardy varieties

Some varieties of the olive tree are particularly hardy compared to other varieties. These include:

  • Forma Tuscany
  • Olea europea 'Lessini'
  • Cornicabra
  • Empeltre
  • Hojiblanca
  • Francoio
  • picual
  • Arbequina
  • Manzanilla cacerena
  • Nevadillo de Jaen

But even with them, temperatures below -10 °C can be problematic in the long run. Therefore, they can only be planted outdoors in regions with very mild winters. If the temperatures in winter regularly drop below -10 °C, a additional protection necessary. Therefore, it may also make more sense to cultivate them in buckets. If there is a strong onset of winter, they can bring their little tree into the house if necessary. In addition, insulating materials make it possible to protect them more comprehensively.

Olea europea


Although you cultivate the olive tree outdoors or in a bucket, in addition to winter hardiness or hardiness, acclimatization is also crucial for successful wintering.
Because olive trees come from milder regions and therefore have a hard time adapting north of the Alps. It is best therefore olive trees already in the spring to plant or take outside. In this way, they can acclimate and get used to the lower or falling temperatures.

If the plant is only purchased in summer or autumn, at least the previous site conditions should be known in detail. In the first year it is still better to overwinter the plant indoors.

Protection measures for wintering

Whether the olive tree was planted outdoors or overwintered in a bucket, whether it is hardy or hardy - additional protection does no harm. The following measures are suitable:

insulation from below

Place the bucket on a pallet and a sheet of styrofoam. This prevents frost from penetrating the soil from below. This protects the roots.

cover tree disc

It is important to cover the tree disc both in the tub and when planting outdoors. This provides protection against ground frost. Suitable materials are straw, brushwood and mulch.

wrap bucket

Jute and special plant fleece insulate the tub from the outside and thus reduce the risk of damage to the roots from the penetrating frost.

Protect trunk and isolate crown

Again, you can use jute and plant fleece to wrap the trunk and crown. On the one hand, this provides a certain degree of protection against frost. On the other hand, the weight load from snow is reduced. On frost-free days, the cover of the crown can be removed so that the sun can shine on the leaves.

Overwintering indoors is much easier. The olive tree is placed in a frost-free, bright room. The substrate should not dry out completely, but should not be kept wet or very moist either. The ideal temperature is between 5°C and 10°C.

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