Ever wondered why it's recommended that you don't keep an olive tree indoors? Read on for the answer.

Olive trees (Olea europea) have become popular garden trees, with many planting small olive groves or including an olive or two in a courtyard or in a large container. Olives are trees that love heat and sunshine – think the sun-baked hills and fields of the Mediterranean especially Italy, Greece and Spain.

In Australia, olives grow well across southern Australia. For more on how to grow olives outdoors, see this article.

They don’t like life indoors, yet many people are trying to grow them as indoor plants - perhaps influenced by photos and posts on social media. Plants may survive inside for a few weeks or for longer in a brightly lit conservatory, but will quickly succumb to pest and disease problems including scale and mealy bug. Without adequate sun, warmth and fresh air, olive trees won’t grow, flower or fruit. Outdoors, olives are long-lived trees that over time develop gnarled trunks and will produce flowers and fruit. Your best bet is always to grow them where they're happiest!


An olive tree thriving outdoors.


Five reasons NOT to grow an olive tree indoors

  • Olive trees are productive plants that need full sun to grow and thrive. Indoors they won’t produce flowers or fruit.
  • If brought indoors, even into a very warm, brightly lit spot, they will struggle and are likely to be attacked by pests including scale and mealy bug.
  • Olives grown indoors may also develop rust or mildew.
  • They will also discard leaves, become twiggy and spindly as they gradually die.
  • These trees are expensive so it’s a waste of money and resources to try to grow a tree in an unsuitable location.


Still want the look of an indoor olive tree? Cut foliage in a vase makes a great alternative.



While the grey-green colour of an olive tree is unmistakable and hard to copy, there are alternative tree selections that grow successfully indoors in a well-lit spot including weeping figs and fiddle leaf figs. If you still want the look of an olive tree indoors, Flower Power stocks artificial olive trees and foliage so those who love them can get the look without the care needs. You could also consider using some cut olive foliage in a vase for a similar look.


Found the perfect outdoor spot to grow an olive? Click here to shop Flower Power's range.