Gainesville Landscape Plant of the Month: Tea Olive
The Tea Olive is a classic Southern shrub that blooms at various times of the year-including late fall-with tiny but amazingly fragrant flowers. This long-lived shrub is a favorite of Gainesville landscapers, who prize it for its tough nature and sweet-smelling flowers.
The Tea Olive can be grown in full sun or partial shade, though plants growing in deeper shade may become spindly. The plants prefer a well-drained soil and are fairly drought tolerant once established. Because of its natural columnar shape, tea olive requires only minimal pruning, though gardeners may choose to prune the plant in order to encourage branching. Plants may grow up to 8 feet wide and reach 4 to 30 feet in height depending on the cultivar, but they can also be pruned into a small tree if space is limited.