The Q&A Archives: Little Ollie in Pots

Question: I have two Little Ollie olive trees wholesaled by Monrovia. Both are topiary forms (two section poodle shapes). The top section on both, apparently grafts, aren't vigorous. Both plants are in rolled rimmed pots. 1. Will they do well in pots? 2. How often will they need water in a relatively arid climate? 3. How can I improve the growth of the top topiary section? I've bought about ten other Monrovia Little Ollie olives and they all do well in the groun, even in the worst rocky, hillside conditions. Thanks.

Answer: The topiary forms of Little Ollie are grafted and it is important to make sure the graft area is not damaged with rough handling. These shrubs will do well in containers, but containerized plants will need to be watered more frequently than the same plants planted in the ground. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out and then water thoroughly so the entire rootmass and surrounding soil is moist. Sometimes this means setting the container in a larger container of water for 15-20 minutes to drive out any air pockets around the roots. Allow to drain before setting the container on a drip saucer (you don't want soggy roots, just nicely moistened soil). Check the containers daily for soil moisture until you become accustomed to how often they'll need watering in the hot summer months. When the top inch of soil is dry, water thoroughly. Best wishes with your plants!

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