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Little Ollie is a durable and attractive evergreen shrub that grows into a dense mounding plant, 6 to 8 ft tall and as wide. It is a dwarf non-fruiting hybrid that is often clipped and sheared into geometric shapes for a formal character in Mediterranean and drought tolerant gardens. It is highly adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire in sunny locations and with amounts of supplemental water throughout the summer months. This cultivar is becoming very popular as a foundation plant, along walkways and as a hedge.

Water Needs

The Little Ollie dwarf olive is naturally adapted to the Mediterranean climate of the Inland Empire. In most locations it can grow well with our seasonal winter rains and low amounts of supplemental water during the summer. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. As shown in the chart below, there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding, Dense, Compact
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 6 ft. - 8 ft.
Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Olive green
Flower Color: Insignificant
Flower Season: Insignificant
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Loam, Clay, Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Screening, Residential spaces, Near pools and water features, Grouped, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Hedge


Olives in the Inland Empire have begun succumbing to a new fatal disease (Xylella) that is evidenced by slow branch dieback over time. New planting of olives is no longer recommended. If you already have an olive in your landscape, many other, less serious, diseases also cause branch dieback, so do not necessarily give up if some of the branches begin to die back. If this occurs, prune back dead branches, cutting into areas of the branch that are clearly healthy, and sterilize the blade of the pruner or saw with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle between each cut and when done pruning (S). Little Ollie Olive can be pruned as a hedge or a screen and can be pruned or sheared in the fall, winter, or spring (D)



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