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Fragrant Orange Tea Olive - Sweet Olive
A cousin of the white-flowering Tea Olive, the Orange Tea Olive produces the same sweetly fragrant flowers but in a wonderful creamy orange color. Due to the presence of carotenes in the flowers, some say that the Orange Tea Olive has a more pleasant fragrance than the white. We've smelled them both. It might be all in our head, but we think the orange does smell a little sweeter, like candy. More details below

Fragrant Orange Tea Olive - Sweet Olive

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Fragrant Orange Tea Olive
Osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 7b (7a?)-10b  Find Your Zone

Note:  For our customers who live and garden north of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7b, where the Orange Tea Olive is not winter hardy, you'll be happy to know it can be grown in containers that can be brought indoors during winter and placed back outside when temperatures warm up in spring. 



Special Attributes

A cousin of the white-flowering Tea Olive, the Orange Tea Olive produces the same sweetly fragrant flowers but in a wonderful creamy orange color. Due to the presence of carotenes in the flowers, some say that the Orange Tea Olive has a more pleasant fragrance than the white. We've smelled them both. It might be all in our head, but we think the orange does smell a little sweeter, like candy. There are other subtle differences as well. The leaves of the Orange Tea Olive are a little darker green, and are larger and longer than those of white. 

The flowers of the Orange Tea Olive are edible and also used in perfumes. In China, they use the flowers to scent black or green teas and also use it in perfumery. You'll see why when you plant one!



Landscape & Garden Uses

Growing upright in a rounded form to 10-15' tall and 6-8' wide (depending on pruning), the Orange Tea Olive can be grown as a large shrub or small tree. As a shrub, its dense foliage makes it ideal for use as an evergreen hedge, privacy screen, or background, or to frame corners or fill voids between widely-spaced windows in home foundation plantings. As it grows, which it does rather quickly, remove lower branches to desired height and you have an outstanding focal point specimen tree for use in sunny to partially shaded landscape borders and home foundation plantings. This way you can enjoy the fragrance from close up. A fine addition to fragrance gardens

Suggested Spacing:  5-6' for a solid hedge;  12' or more for space between plants



Cultural Preferences

The Orange Tea Olive is very easy to grow in most any average, moist but well-drained soil and full sun to part shade. We suggest at least 5 hours of direct sunlight per day or all-day lightly filtered sun for best flowering. Exceptionally drought tolerant when established, and we've seen no insect or disease problems, over decades, and deer won't touch it. As with many other plants, a constantly soggy or wet soil can be problematic.



Helpful Articles

Click on the link(s) below to get advice from our experts on how to plant, fertilize, prune and water Tea Olive shrubs and trees... 




Plant Details

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 7b (7a?)-10b  Find Your Zone >
Plant Type:  Evergreen Flowering Shrub or Small Tree
Height at Maturity:  10-15'
Width at Maturity:  6-8'
Spacing:  5-6' for a solid hedge; 12' or more for space between plants
Growth Habit / Form:  Bushy, Upright
Growth Rate:  Moderate, Fast
Flower Color:  Bright Orange
Flower Size:  Tiny, 1/8" in clusters
Flowering Period:  Fall
Flower Type:  Single, in clusters
Fragrant Flowers:  Yes, extremely fragrant!
Foliage Color:  Dark Green
Fragrant Foliage:  No
Berries:  No
Berry Color:  NA
Sun Needs:  Full to Mostly Sun, Morning Sun With Afternoon Shade, Morning Shade with Afternoon Sun
Water Needs:  Average, Very Low when established
Soil Type:  Clay (Amended), Loam, Sandy, Silty
Soil Moisture / Drainage:  Well Drained Moist to Dry when established
Soil pH:  5.5 - 7.5 (Acid to Slightly Acid)
Maintenance / Care:  Average to Low
Attracts:  Visual Attention
Resistances:  Deer, Disease, Drought, Dry Soil, Heat, Insect



Plant Long & Prosper!

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