Olive trees are long-lived trees native to the warm Mediterranean region. Can olives grow in zone 8? It is entirely possible to start growing olives in some parts of zone 8 if you select healthy, hardy olive trees. Read on for information about zone 8 olive trees and tips for growing olives in zone 8.
Can Olives Grow in Zone 8?
If you love olive trees and live in a zone 8 region, you may be asking: can olives grow in zone 8? The U.S. Department of Agriculture designates areas as zone 8a if the average coldest winter temperature is 10 degrees F. (-12 C.) and zone 8b if the lowest temperature is 20 degrees F. (-7 C.).
While not every olive tree variety will survive in these regions, you can succeed at growing olives in zone 8 if you select hardy olive trees. You’ll also need to be attentive to chill hours and zone 8 olive care.
Hardy Olive Trees
You can find hardy olive trees in commerce that will thrive in USDA zone 8. Zone 8 olive trees generally require that winter temperatures stay above 10 degrees F. (-12 C.). They also require some 300 to 1,000 hours of chill to bear fruit, depending on the cultivar.
Some of the cultivars for zone 8 olive trees are quite a bit smaller than the massive trees you may have seen. For example, both ‘Arbequina” and “Arbosana” are small cultivars, topping out at some 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall. Both thrive in USDA zone 8b, but may not make it in zone 8a if temperatures dip below 10 degrees F. (-12 C.).
‘Koroneiki’ is another potential tree for the list of zone 8 olive trees. It is a popular Italian olive variety known for its high oil content. It also stays below 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall. Both ‘Koroneiki’ and ‘Arbequina’ fruit fairly quickly, after about three years.
Zone 8 Olive Care
Zone 8 olive tree care is not too difficult. Olive trees don’t need a lot of special care in general. You’ll want to be sure to select a site with full sun. It’s also important to plant zone 8 olive trees in well-draining soil.
One thing you’ll need to keep in mind is pollination. Some trees, like ‘Arbequina,’ are self-pollinating, but other hardy olive trees require a pollinator. The kicker here is that not just any tree will do, so make sure the trees are compatible. Consulting with your local extension office will help with this.