Planting Olive Seeds

I’m putting my gardening skills to the test this week and trying my hand at rooting some olive seeds. I read recently that olive trees actually make excellent potted indoor plants because they grow slowly and require a temperate climate. I never actually shared this with my husband, but when he was in Italy last month he brought home some seeds for us to try. He read my mind!

They’re not the easiest trees to grow, however, and they are a little tricky to root, but I’ve got ten of them, so at least one has to work out, right!?! When I was at my garden store picking up the supplies to plant these, I actually saw some tiny olive trees that were already established, but where’s the fun in that! (What I’m actually hoping is that they still have some if these seeds don’t work out!)

After reading everything that I could find on the internet about how to grow olive trees, I came up with what I thought would work best for my first shot at this. Here’s what I did.


Olive seeds
3″ pots
Coarse sand
Seed starting compost
Clear plastic bags

  1. Soak the olive seeds in water for 24 hours. Then take them out and make a tiny nick in one end of each seed. This will help themĀ sprout. Continue soaking the seeds for another 24 hours.
  2. Prepare potting medium by mixing a 1:1 ratio of sand to seed compost. Add water to make the soil moist, but not muddy. Fill pots and place one seed in each pot only covering 3/4 of the seed. It will need some sunlight to sprout.
  3. Place the pots in a clear plastic bag. This creates a greenhouse effect and encourages germination.
  4. Keep the pots in a warm area that is well-lit, but not in direct sunlight. Direct sun can be harmful, initially.

In theory, these should germinate in about a month, so I’ll keep you posted.