House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Fast Do Olive Trees Grow? Factors, Tips, & FAQ

olive tree

The olive tree is a fantastic plant that produces tasty fruit. It grows well in warm weather, and you can even grow it indoors. Since some varieties can get quite large, many people wonder how fast this plant can grow. The short answer is that most olive trees usually grow 2–4 inches per year, but keep reading as we discuss the rate at which olive trees can grow and other interesting facts.

divider 4

How Fast Do Olive Trees Grow?

Olive trees are incredibly slow growing. Some varieties grow fewer than 12 inches annually, with a few only growing 1 inch yearly. However, most varieties will grow 2–4 inches a year. These trees often live more than 500 years, so there is no hurry to reach their maximum height.

Growth Rate Per Year

The age of your olive tree will affect its growth rate. The first year after you plant your tree, it will grow a bit slower while the roots take hold, so it will likely grow only 1–2 inches. During the second and third years, the roots will be stronger, and the tree will usually develop faster at a rate of 2–6 inches per year. Once it’s been growing for 4 years or more, the tree will grow at its maximum rate of 2–12 inches annually, depending on the variety. After the tree reaches 5 years old, it will produce tasty olives each year.

Age in Years Growth Rate in Inches
1 1–2
2–3 2 – 6
>= 4 2–12
>= 5 2–12 + fruit

divider 4

How Tall Do Olive Trees Grow?


The final height of your olive tree will depend on the variety that you are growing. Most olive trees will grow 25–50 feet tall if you plant them in the ground. If you grow them in pots, they usually grow to only about 10 feet tall, but that’s still too large for many homes, so many gardeners will choose a dwarf variety to grow indoors.


The climate where you grow your olive trees will affect their growth rate. Olive trees are warm-weather plants that grow best in a growing zone above 9. You can grow them in cooler temperatures, especially indoors, but it will slow the growth rate. You can expect the same variety to grow faster in a warmer climate.


The location of your tree will also affect the rate of growth. Olive trees can produce large roots that penetrate deep into the ground, so many gardeners recommend planting them at least 8 feet away from structures or underground utilities. Planting your olive tree in a pot can cause the roots to become compacted, which might slow its growth.

olive trees
Image By: Pixabay


Olive trees prefer to grow in loamy soil, a mixture of sand silt and clay. They like dry soil and have an amazing ability to withstand drought. Planting an olive tree in damp soil might damage the roots, which can slow its growth. Transplanting your olive tree into a new pot every few years can help keep the roots from becoming compacted.


Olive trees are incredibly resistant to drought and have long roots that can extend a long distance in search of water. However, you will still need to water your olive tree every week to keep it healthy. To prevent damage to the roots, let the soil dry out completely after you water the tree.


Olive trees are hot-weather plants that grow best in plenty of sunlight. Plant your olive tree where it will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day

olive trees plantation
Image By: Hans Geel, Shutterstock

trees & plants divider


How Long Do Olive Trees Live?

Olive trees can live a long time, and the average life expectancy is about 500 years. However, many trees can live quite a bit longer, and there are several examples of olive trees that can reach 1,500 years old or more.

Which Olive Trees Are Best?

The olive tree is an ancient variety of plants that people have cultivated worldwide to create various types with different features. For instance, the Arbequina olive tree is resistant to frost, so you can grow it in cooler climates, and the Koroneiki olive tree is decorative and easy to grow, so many gardeners like to grow it indoors.

trees & plants divider


Olive trees usually grow 2–4 inches annually, but some varieties can grow up to 12 inches a year. Proper care will help the tree grow faster, while cooler temperatures and cramped pots can slow growth considerably. Unfortunately, many traditional varieties require a growing zone higher than what you will find in most of the United States, but modern breeding methods have produced several types that you can grow indoors, including dwarf varieties. For the best results, we recommend shopping around to find an olive tree that grows well in your area.

Related Reads:

Featured Image Credit: Ulrike Leone, Pixabay


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools