Olea fragrans, also known as osmanthus or osmanthus, is a plant that at first glance does not particularly impress with its aesthetics and may appear almost insignificant.
But it has the particularity of producing very small flowers, which expand a very recognizable and very pleasant scent. It is also one of the few plants that blooms even in autumn, and, for this reason, its scent can delight for a long time.
In the past, the flowers of the olea fragrans were used to make a tea with beneficial properties, now little known and difficult to market.
Perfect as an isolated specimen or to create a defensive hedge, it can also be cultivated in pots, and, if placed near doors or windows, it can flood the whole house with its delicate but intense perfume.
The olea fragrans is an evergreen shrub with slow growth, which can reach the 2-3 m of height.
Its botanical name is Osmanthus fragrans, it belongs to the Oleaceae family and is native to China and Japan.
The olea fragrans has a fairly compact and rounded appearance, with leathery, dark green leaves and an oblong, slightly toothed shape.
It blooms in spring and repeats flowering in autumn, with white, very fragrant, small flowers that remain slightly hidden under the foliage.
Olea Fragrans: Cultivation
The olea fragrans is a rustic plant, which grows well with little care, and makes your outdoor moments more enjoyable with its scent.
The olea fragrans needs to be placed in a sunny place or where it can enjoy at least a few hours of direct light to be able to bloom abundantly. Avoid areas that are too windy.
The olea fragrans prefers acidic and slightly sandy soils, never too humid, and well draining, so as not to cause rottenness to the roots.
The olea fragrans wants regular watering during the summer season and in the presence of excessive heat, with the frequency of once every 2 weeks. Watering should be reduced in winter and waterlogging should always be avoided.
In autumn and spring, before flowering, it may be useful to give a universal slow release fertiliser.
To prevent the olea fragrans from taking on a wild form and encourage greater flowering, a slight pruning can be carried out, which simply gives the plant a more rounded shape.
To ensure a clean cut of the parts without crushing, always use a suitable gardening tool such as shears or gardening scissors.
Olea Fragrans: Reproduction by Cutting
If you want to grow your olea fragrans in a pot, the easiest way to reproduce it is by cutting.
- Get a large enough pot and place it in a warm, dry place.
- Between the end of August and September, cut, with a clean and well-sharpened knife, just below the knot, a one year old branch, 15-20 cm long.
- Remove the leaves at the bottom and sprinkle a rooting hormone on the tip.
- You can proceed directly to the burying, always keeping the soil very moist in the first days, then thinning the watering according to the needs of the plant.
The olea fragrans in Asia is a symbol of love and romance and, in fact, in some oriental wedding traditions, is given by the bride to the new family to be welcomed and to ensure the birth of many children.
Moreover, according to Chinese mythology, the olea fragrans grew in the lunar paradise and its seeds were scattered on earth by a deity, merciless by the many plagues of the world, so that man could obtain medicines to soothe his suffering.