skip to main content

Why are the leaves on my Olive Tree drooping?

It can be alarming to notice sudden dramatic leaf drooping on your plant. If your Olive Tree looked great yesterday, but today looks sad and limp, don’t be alarmed! This is almost always totally normal and easily fixed.


Drooping leaves can happen from both over- and under-watering your Olive Tree. Be sure to let 25% of the soil volume dry out before watering your plant. In the winter, you can err on the dry side. Always be sure to test the soil before you water.

When you water, make sure you provide enough water so that liquid soaks into the soil and flows from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and into the saucer. It’s extremely important to discard any excess water in the saucer, to avoid root rot. If you are keeping your Olive Tree outside, remove the saucer to avoid water accumulation under the plant.


Incredibly dry soil

If you accidentally let your plant’s soil dry out completely, you may see leaves go limp, droop, and possibly start to become crispy and dry. If the soil is extremely dry and compacted all the way through the pot, a thorough soak is in order.


Here’s how to soak-water your Olive Tree: 

  1. Place your plant in your sink or a tub without the saucer. Fill your basin up with about 3-4″ of water. Make sure the water isn’t hot!
  2. Allow your plant to soak up water through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot for at least 45 min.
  3. Feel the top of the soil after your plant has been soaking–has the water reached the top 2-3” of soil?
  4. If  soil doesn’t feel completely saturated, water your Olive Tree slightly from the top of the soil to help speed up the saturation. You can also gently loosen compacted soil with a chopstick to help the water soak into those blocked spaces.
  5. When your plant’s soil is evenly damp, drain the sink/tub and allow the plant to rest while it drains thoroughly. Place the plant back in its proper spot.


Improper Light

Your Olive Tree needs at least 6+ hours of direct sunlight during the day. If placed in a spot with little direct light, the leaves may grow pale and start to drop. Move your plant to a spot where it will get direct sunlight or add a grow light to help supplement.



A weakened or stressed Olive Tree is more susceptible to insect infestations. Sap-sucking bugs like spider mites can drain your plant of moisture. This problem quickly manifests itself by yellowing leaflets and fronds. Scale, mealybugs, and spider mites occur frequently in indoor conditions. If not killed early on, these small pests proliferate and move all along the fronds into nooks and crannies. The piercing mouths of the insects exhaust your plant and accelerate yellowing, especially if your Olive Tree is already unhealthy from poor lighting, a nutrient deficiency or improper soil moisture.

Olive Tree

With shimmering sage-green leaves, the olive tree is ready to add delicate color and texture to your home decor. Hailing from the Mediterranean, this graceful plant will need plenty of bright, direct sunlight to thrive (think sunny, south-facing windows).
view product

Need more help?

We're confident your Olive Tree will be back to normal in no-time, but if you've followed the steps above and things just aren't improving you can contact us here.