1. Is Osmocote organic?
No, Osmocote is an inorganic fertilizer but it has all the major benefits of an organic fertilizer. Let us explain; many people don’t realise it, but a plant can only use nutrients that are in an inorganic form. Any organic fertilizer needs to be broken down into inorganic nutrients before it can be used by the plant. The benefit of this is that all the nutrients in an organic fertilizer are not available all at once but are released over a longer and safer period of time, just like Osmocote.
The advantage of Osmocote over organic fertilizers is that the nutrients are already in an inorganic (useable) state and the plant can start using it immediately but it still releases over a pre-determined time, making it safe and efficient. Best of both worlds. The coating of Osmocote is organic and based on soybean oil only.
2. Can Osmocote be used in the garden?
Absolutely. It is safe and clean and doesn’t smell bad. It will work very well for most garden plants and even on the lawn.
3. How should Osmocote be applied?
Osmocote was designed for and is mostly used professionally for plants that are in some form of a container for example a seedling tray, a grow bag or a pot, and for that reason these application methods focus on containerized plants. As a gardener or hobbyist the best advice will be to understand how Osmocote works and to devise a method of application that best suits your situation. Osmocote is very safe so don’t be scared to experiment with different methods. As long as you don’t damage the coating, you can’t do much harm.
Back to the professional container plant grower:
The best and most cost efficient method will be to mix the Osmocote into the growing medium. This can be done by a specialized growing media mixing machine, a concrete mixer or even by hand. It will all depend on your set-up and the scale of operations.
It is important to note that we do not suggest that Osmocote be mixed into big heaps using a bulldozer since it will be difficult to mix it evenly.
Osmocote can also be top dressed to already potted plants. Here it is important to make sure that the Osmocote can’t fall out of the pot or plant bag during watering or if the plants are blown over during a wind storm. It is also important to place the prills close to the dripper if you are using a dripper to give water. It is often safest to work the prills about 2cm into the top of the growing medium close to the dripper when top-dressing. Always make sure all irrigation comes from the top.
One of the most effective and simplest ways of applying Osmocote is when plants are being re-potted or potted up. Simply throw the Osmocote onto the medium in the new pot, cover with about a centimetre of growing medium and plant the plant on top of it.
4. What are the application rates of Osmocote?
These application rates are guidelines only and apply only to containerized plants. Don’t be scared to experiment with different application rates to achieve the best results in your unique situation:
Apply Osmocote Pro 3-4 months (17+11+10+2MgO+TE) at 2 to 3 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Pro 5-6 months (17+11+10+2MgO+TE) at 3 to 3.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Pro 8-9 months (16+11+10+2MgO+TE) at 3.5 to 4.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Pro 8-9 months (11+10+19+2MgO+TE) at 3.5 to 4.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Pro 12-14 months (16+11+10+2MgO+TE) at 4 to 5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Exact Mini 3-4 months (16+8+11+2MgO+TE) at 1.5 to 2.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Start 6 weeks (12+11+17+2MgO+TE) at 1.5 to 2.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Osmocote Bloom 2-3 months (12+7+18+1.5MgO+TE) at 1.5 to 4.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
Apply Micromax Premium 16 – 18 months (Micro Elements) at 0.2 to 0.5 grams per litre of growing medium.
5. Can Osmocote be incorporated into a medium for rooting cuttings?
Yes. Osmocote is one of the few fertilizers that are safe enough to do this. It has been done with great success on a commercial level.
6. Does Osmocote have an expiry date?
If bags are kept dry and reasonably sealed it will stay as good as new for many years.
7. Do you sell in smaller quantities?
The current supply chain and product selection is focused on commercial use but if you are prepared to buy at least a 25kg bag, prepay it and collect it during office hours you are always more than welcome.
8. Isn’t Osmocote too expensive for big commercial nurseries and growers?
No it is not.
Osmocote will off course cost more than conventional fertilizers because it has certain added benefits, but these benefits and the efficiency with which it works makes Osmocote cost effective. If you take into account the very low application rate of Osmocote, the fact that it is a complete feed including trace elements, the fact that you can properly feed plants for months on end without raising a finger, the minimal losses through leaching and the safety of Osmocote, it is really not expensive at all and in fact a very cost effective solution for big commercial nurseries.
9. Is Osmocote available in countries neighbouring South Africa?
We can send Osmocote to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Angola and Zambia.
10.What makes a good controlled release fertilizer?
The availability of all the claimed nutrients over the entire course of the claimed longevity.
In other words; it gives what it claims it has and it gives it for as long as it claims that it can. Always. It is often taken for granted that a controlled release fertilizer should at least do that but in reality it is not easy to accomplish.
Osmocote has consistently been proven in hundreds of independent trials all over the world and for many years.
11. What are trace elements?
Trace elements, or micronutrients, are nutrients that are required in very small quantities but are still essential for growing a healthy plant. Trace elements deliver better nutrition to a plant that will in turn give higher yield. The plants will also have more dynamic colour and enhanced anatomy. Remember, a deficiency in only one trace element will limit the performance of a plant even if all the other nutrients are supplied in abundance. In the manufacturing of Osmocote extensive research has been conducted to develop products that have the correct ratio of trace elements which will maximize the growing capacity of your plants.
12. Why should containerized plants be supplied with trace elements?
Growing mediums that are used for commercial container growing are not like the soil found in nature and most often do not contain trace elements. The plant has no other source of trace elements other than the fertilizer provided by the grower. This is why it is important for a fertilizer to also contain trace elements. Because the trace elements in Osmocote are almost completely water soluble and are released in a controlled manner, they are constantly available to the plant throughout the longevity of the selected Osmocote.