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Tea Olive time

Posted by rhizo_1 7a AL (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 16, 11 at 16:29

Isn't that aroma heavenly? For some reason, our Osmanthus fragrans has gone nuts with flowers. The hummingbirds are swarming you think they can actually get nectar out of those blossoms? I know that bees do, but I've never seen any butterflies paying it any attention.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tea Olive time

  • Posted by nelson 7b in Alabama (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 16, 11 at 23:16


The "tea olive" (Osmanthus 'fragrans') is not only drought-tolerant, but it seems to be especially fragrant during or after periods of drought. I've got somewhere around 20 planted in my yard just for the fragrance.

I have found this to be true with my night-blooming jasmine also (Cestrum 'nocturnum'), which is in heavy bloom right now for the third time this season. It's fragrance can be enjoyed throughout the entire yard and beyond. It's special, the only potted tropical I will never give up!


RE: Tea Olive time

rhizo, have wanted to plant some osmanthus but concerned about the size. We saw one in bloom at Piccadilly Farms up by Athens and it was gignormous - at least 30'x30' - obviously a mature plant but I don't have anywhere near that space available. Can you suggest a cultivar that doesn't get huge?

Many thanks, Rosie, in GA

RE: Tea Olive time

hmmmm. I can't think of a smaller growing Osmanthus, but I'll look around. Back when I lived in a zone 8-8b location in SC, I saw lots of tea olives that size. Even here, where I would expect this plant to grow relatively slowly, our little three gallon baby has grown to about 7 or 8 feet in about five years.

Are you wanting Osmanthus in particular, or something with that light, sweet fragrance?

RE: Tea Olive time

I have three tea olives, they are planted between the old house & the new house. I planted them because they are evergreens, didn't know about the lovely fragrance. Some day the old house will be for rent, & we wanted lots of green things in between the 2 yards. The smell is flowing up the terraces nicely, but someday I plan to move one near the porch of the new house.

RE: Tea Olive time

I'm not sure how well Osmanthus transplants. Does anyone have any experience with this? I've got a little voice whispering from my memory bank about this and wonder if it's a red flag.

RE: Tea Olive time

Knew I'd posted but couldn't remember where. Glad I found it again.

nelson, how large are your most mature plants?

Rhizo, Floridata lists then to 20'tall x 6-8'width. I'm limited. Only have 11 1/2' from driveway to property line. Some overhanging on neighbor's lot wouldn't present a problem, but 30 + feet in width would. I'd enjoy the frangrance but primarily looking for an evergreen to screen a view about 2 blocks away. My other option is wax myrtle, which I definitely like and know I can control with pruning.

Thanks Alabamans, glad y'all are here to help.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

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