Cold Hardy Fragrant Osmanthus
The "Go To" Fragrant Shrub for Northern Homeowners
The Cold Hardy Olive Tree is a relative of the southern Fragrant Tea Olive, planted throughout Charleston and Savannah. The big difference is that the Cold Hardy Tea Olive is able to withstand tough, northern winters. You often see these in high-end neighborhoods in Long Island.
• small white blooms fill your entire yard with a citrusy scent
• flowersfrom late summer through fall, when most plants are done blooming
• deer and disease resistant, very low maintenance
Beautiful & Fragrant
In late August, long after most plants stop blooming, the Cold Hardy Tea Olive develops clusters of white, sometimes yellow or orange flowers... the fragrance is unmistakable. After it finishes blooming, oval berries form that are a purplish to blue-black color. Despite the holly-like leaves and berries, it is a member of the Tea Olive and not the Holly family.
Although the Holly Olive adjusts to most any kind of soil, the soil must be capable of drainage. We recommend adding organic materials to heavy clay to encourage drainage. The tree is drought tolerant, but it does best in soil that is moist and receives regular watering.
The Holly Olive likes afternoon shade particularly on hot, sunshine filled summer days in the warmer zones of 8 and 9. In addition, please take note that while this tree can survive in zone 6 (or briefly down to -5° F.), we highly recommend that in Zones 6a or 6b, the tree should be placed in a sunny, protected area. Cold, sharp winter winds are dangerous for this plant.
In planting the Holly Olive, the hole must be at least twice the size of the root ball. The root ball should be planted about an inch or two below the soil level. In heavy clay soils, the hole should be even larger and amended with organics such as compost.
Attractive in any Landscape
The Holly Olive or "False" Holly comes to our gardens from the forests of Japan and China, where it was treasured for its simple, yet elegant beauty, fragrance and shape. The Holly Olive makes a beautiful stand-alone statement in your landscaping, or as a wind-screen or it can function as a hedge. Its holly-like leaves are an attractive dark green and "spiny."