Why the Olive Tree Is Officially the ‘It Plant’ of the Summer

Incorporate on-trend Mediterranean style into your home with your greenery.

Olive tree in vase next to white bench in minimal home

Anastasiia Krivenok / Getty Images

Summer is quickly approaching, and if it has you dreaming of long days spent on Spanish beaches or wandering the vineyards of Italy, you’re not alone. While that might not be your reality right now, you do have the ability to bring the energy of an idyllic destination into your home—all you need is a single plant. 

Mediterranean design and decor is one of the trendiest styles at the moment, and it focuses on creating a space that feels like an escape. Adding greenery is one of the easiest ways to achieve that, and the olive tree (which is native to the Mediterranean coast) perfectly fits into this particular aesthetic. When the market research team at The Sill, a popular ecommerce plant company, recognized a rise of interest in olive trees among customers, they decided to add it to their offerings in December 2022. Since then, they’ve struggled to keep it in stock due to the demand. 

“The olive tree was popular, has cold tolerance, and it’s also pet friendly,” says Paris Lalicata, plant expert at The Sill. “We didn’t really have any expectations besides hoping that it would do well based off of the market research that we did, but it was a super success—we’ve actually sold out several times since launching in December.”

With the rise in popularity of Mediterranean style, it’s likely that the olive tree will remain a favorite for the upcoming season.

Medium sized olive tree in cream vase

The Sill

“Our decision on choosing new offerings is dependent on not only the plant care aspect, but also interior design,” Lalicata says. “Especially within the last few years, a lot of interior designers are incorporating plant life into their designs. I think it was sometime last year when we saw that the olive tree was upticking in design, and I think a lot of it has to do with their beautiful foliage.”

Lalicata also theorizes that the growth in popularity is because of the rising desire people have to grow their own food. She explains that the Common Olive Tree (the variety offered by The Sill) can take up to three years to produce fruit, but once they’ve made their first harvest, they’ll increase production over the years. (You’ll know these olives are ripe when they turn black.)

These trees are pretty low maintenance when it comes to watering, but they need to be placed in a window that gets plenty of sunlight (preferably south facing). If you like the look of greenery but not the care aspect, Lalicata recommends getting a faux version or decorating with dried branches instead.

mediterranean style home patio with outdoor furniture

Edmund Barr

Outdoor living is central to the Mediterranean lifestyle, whether it’s spending time at the local park, your balcony, or a bar with outdoor seating: Just picture relaxing by the pool with a bowl of freshly-harvested olives and an Aperol spritz. Is that not the epitome of a Mediterranean summer? Pair your tree with natural materials like wood and stone and incorporate some faux vines to recreate that feeling.

“[This plant] can be good for minimalist people who don’t want too much clutter in their space,” Lalicata says. “The olive tree, especially once it gets to like a mature tree size, is definitely an eye catcher in the home—you don’t need a million plants, you just need that one tree.”

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