Olive Tree Leaves Curling? (8 Causes + FIX)

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Olive Tree Leaves Curling? It could be a variety of reasons. These can range from problems with the growing environment to pests and diseases. Sometimes, you can treat the problem by pruning the affected area. It’s also essential to make sure your tree is getting sufficient water. Using a moisture meter can help you determine the amount of water it needs.

Let’s examine why the olive leaves curl and the suggested cures.

Olive Tree Leaves Curling: Causes & Fix

What should you do if you observe the curling leaves of the olive trees? It could be due to many causes. For example, olive tree leaves may be prone to curling due to excess watering or a lack of water or the case of transplant shock, or if there are insects infested like aphids, scale: mites, or mealybugs, or excessive weeds in the trunk of potted olive trees. Additionally, excessive fertilizers or chemicals could result in olive trees’ leaves curling.

In the table below, I’ve identified the most common causes of the olive leaves curl as well as the remedies that could be used to treat it:

The reasons to curl the olive leaves are many.

Watering Problemsregular irrigation, soil moisture check
Verticillium Wilt copper fungicide or sprinkle baking soda
Shock transplantThe frequency of water increases until 2 weeks
Powdery Mildewcopper fungicide or sprinkle baking soda
PestsRegular insecticides use
Variations in temperatureMove Olive tree in the pot indoors
Weed issueGet rid of weeds around the tree
Chemicals OveruseStop fertilizing and spraying chemicals to much

Proper watering

If you have olive trees planted in pots, you must maintain them with regular watering. It can lead to numerous issues if your plants are not adequately watered. First, you must be aware of their water levels to avoid drying out too much, which could result in their leaf curling because of the dryness of the root system. This is a sign an olive tree is in a submerged state and requires more moisture. This is how olive leaves shield themselves from the sun and stop the process of photosynthesis when they aren’t getting enough water.

It is essential to water your olive tree properly, and it will grow back quickly! It is vital to provide the trees with adequate moisture, so they don’t get too dry or wet simultaneously. It is crucial to look over the various parts of your olive trees to determine if they are well. It will begin to normalize once it gets more sun.

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Verticillium Wilt

Another probable cause of dark and curled olive leaves is Verticillium wilt. It happens when the soil water system is inadequate. Overwatering of the olive trees might also cause it. Because of a shortage of oxygen, the plant’s roots suffocate, which can lead to Verticillium infection.

The most effective strategy to treat Verticillium wilt is to prevent it. Because this fungal infection is present in the soil, it is not as simple as it seems. It is preferable if the olive tree is resistant enough to avoid infection with this disease. Resistance to the fungus is advantageous.

Shock transplant

The curling of olive leaves could be a result of transplanting or repotting. Roots are susceptible to damage after being transplanted to the new location or pot and require time to grow roots and then function as they should. This is not good for the plant as it will not be able to absorb water as efficiently if the roots have been damaged. The more often you water the plant during the first two weeks after transplanting, the let the roots heal and replenish their water supply.

Before you plant the olive tree, ensure the roots aren’t damaged. The majority of seeds are grown in plastic growers. This will simplify replanting to ensure the plant’s roots aren’t damaged. Take care when performing the transfer to ensure you don’t have any issues.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew seems as it sounds: white powder on your olive tree’s leaves. However, if they stay on it too long, the olive leaves may curl, so grab the hose and wash the powder away. If powdery mildew reappears, use a copper fungicide or sprinkle baking soda. For prevention, cut down the branches to allow for proper air circulation.


A different reason for curly leaves could be the presence of insects, such as scales, spiders, aphids, mealybugs, or mites. Insects are known to eat nutrients from leaves, causing them to weaken. They will shrink to death because of the depletion of the essential nutrients that plants require to maintain healthy leaves. This is not a great situation as the tree cannot photosynthesize properly.

The most efficient solution is to use some natural insecticides, such as saltwater or cotton, soaked with alcohol and placed on olive trees. If you decide to use more powerful insecticides, ensure they are free of chemicals so they don’t cause more harm to the plants. Be careful not to overdo it because some insects may become tolerant to these chemicals and cease to be beneficial in the future. This plant is an issue with pest control. These tiny yellow spots are clear signs of a pest problem under the leaf.

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Temperature Variations

Another reason why olive leaves curl up, mainly around the edges, is because of temperature variations that are too hot during the day and cold in the evening. When the edges of leaves start to curl, it could indicate excessive watering. However, it could also be an indication of an absence of water.

It is essential first to determine the cause and then take appropriate action. For example, if the temperature outside is too fluctuating, bring an olive tree inside for the season.

Overuse of Chemicals

Utilizing too many chemicals, for example, herbicides and insecticides, could cause leaves to become curled. This is because leaves can absorb these chemicals, which can cause harm to the crops. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you have the correct quantity of these chemicals to prevent your plant from dying when it comes to protecting it.

There are numerous organic herbicides and insecticides which farmers utilize. It is preferential to go for a more natural method to eliminate pests and weeds. Chemicals are not ideal for your plants when it’s already overgrown.

Weed problem

The weeds can sprout in any situation. They can eat away vital nutrients from your plants, making them unhealthy. If you own a huge olive tree, the plantation is an issue as weeds could develop very large. In addition, a lot of water can encourage the growth of weeds, which can not be beneficial for your plants as a whole.

Herbicides can be highly beneficial to your garden. Make sure you use the herbicides when you begin to see weeds growing. They may take a couple of days to overtake the entire area, so removing the weeds earlier rather than later is recommended. To protect themselves from sunlight and stop the process of photosynthesis, the leaves start to curl.

You might like this article: What to do with Dead Weeds After Spraying

Conclusion: Olive Tree Leaves Curling

Olive trees are plants that require enough water to be able to thrive. Therefore, leaf curling may occur at times. However, you don’t need to fret about it. There are methods to stop the development of these issues, and can address them when they’re already present. I hope this article helped you fix the “Olive Tree Leaves Curling” problem. Let me know in the comments if this article helped you or if you have any other issues.

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