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Anyone know what to feed olive trees and oleanders in pots (to stop them getting too big and lack of space)? What about watering?
You needn't feed them anything specifically to stop them getting too big - just treat them as any shrub in a tub - once they've got big enough to occupy the largest size pot that you want them to, each spring take them out of the pot, scrape the surface compost off and repot in the same pot, topping up with fresh compost. Feed with general fertiliser throughout the growing season in accordance with instructions on the packet.
Water them enough to keep the compost damp but not sodden throughout the growing season, less in the winter.
In most areas of the UK oleanders need protection during winter months as they are usually not frost hardy, and I would recommend taking them into a heated greenhouse or conservatory.
Olive trees are a bit hardier but should be moved to a sheltered position in the winter and protected with fleece if sharp frost is forecast; They will cope better with frost if their compost is dryish rather than wet.
Please remember that all parts of the oleander are highly toxic - please supervise young children around them.
Thank you dovefromabove. The oleanders are small ones and look quite healthy at the moment, hope they will flower in the summer. It was said in the newspaper advert I bought them from they would be okay to -5 C.
Yes Phil they should be alright to -5 but I would still wrap some fleece around them or move them if possible. One year I took a dead and frosted oleander out of its pot and dumped it behind the shed until I could get rid of it properly. A couple of months later it had sprouted lots of new growth and I felt terrible for not being patient. Two years later I planted two new oleanders into the soil and wrapped them in fleece along with the one that had survived (potted). All three were killed by the frost this year. They are definitely dead as the stems are pulpy. They were so beautiful too. it's a shame. Anyway good luck - they are lovely even when just in foliage the flowers are a bonus.
Thankd Lavande, I'll keep all that in mind. At the moment I have them sheltering behind a wooden fence, fingers crossed!
I have an olive tree in a pot that was really healthy last year, and flourished in my south facing conservatory with just a water once a week. Over winter the leaves have become more and more shrivelled, and although they aren't dropping off, it is looking really unhealthy even though the weather has started to warm up. I didn't water it at all over the winter, and have only watered it twice recently, but the soil still looks wet, but it is as if the leaves have no moisture in them, and there is no sign of any new growth.
I don't know whether I should feed it, repot it, or leave it and hope for the best!