Nutricote Vs Osmocote

Nutricote and Osmocote both are plant fertilizers that are very popular among gardeners and farmers. They both are used in the form of pills and are known for their slow release of internal components. Osmocote also comes with a variety of pills and soil mixes so does Nutricote. Slow-release fertilizers provide plants with a specific dose of nutrients over the course of time. This way gardeners do not have to worry about fertilizing the plants for a certain period of time. Also, slow-release fertilizers do not force plants to grow faster but rather work as a natural push for them.

Among all the other fertilizers presented in the market Nutricote and Osmocote are pretty popular which is why finding the best one is always a dilemma for gardeners. But here with the detailed discussion and findings so you would not have to join in the Nutricote Vs Osmocote fight. You can choose the right one for your plants pretty easily.

Key Takeaways

  • Nutricote is a slow-releasing fertilizer that provides nutrients to plants gradually.
  • Osmocote is a brand of fertilizer that has slow release and liquid fertilizer. The slow-release fertilizers provide controlled nutrition to the plants.
  • The major difference between Nutricote and Osmocote lies within their releasing controllers. Nutricote releases nutrients with the touch of moisture on the other hand Osmocote releases goodness with the temperature increase.
  • If you want to choose the best one you need to go through your needs, preferences, and surroundings.
  • Before you could choose the right one you also need to understand their application procedure so that the application would not be a hassle for you.

Difference Between Nutricote and Osmocote

Nutricote and Osmocote both are slow-release fertilizers, they take time to be released on the ground and help the plant grow at a slow pace. They both are very popular on the market for their benefits to plants. Both fertilizers come into the market in different forms. Before we jump into the topic of differentiating them from each other let’s know about these two fertilizers a little.

What is Nutricote?

Nutricote is a slow-release fertilizer that provides plants with chemical and gradual nutrients over an extended period of time. Nutricote is a type of granular-coated fertilizer that has been designed to meet the nutritional needs of plants. That helps the plants to have nutrients in a balanced and efficient manner. Some specific characteristics of this fertilizer are

What is nutricote
  • The coating technology of Nutricote is a type of unique resin talc coating with an outer layer that is wrapped by film and has all the granules of fertilizer inside the coat. The polymer coating acts as a semi-permeable membrane that controls the release of nutrient fertilizer based on condition. This coating also contains polyolefin, tac, and nonionic surfactants.
  • The release period of Nutricote differs based on its type and formulation. Nutricote comes in 3 different varieties a formulation Type 100, Type 140, and Type 180. Their release period varies from 4 months to 1 year. This extended period helps plants to get fertilizer and nutrients over a period of time without having to use it in between short periods.
  • Nutricote fertilizers are known for their balanced combination of essential nutrients. These fertilizers contain nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other very important micronutrients such as zinc and other metals. These nutrients help plant growth and boost immunity. With Nutricote you can customize the nutrition composition base on the requirement of plants.
  • With Nutricote it is possible to reduce nutrient leaching. Nutricote release can be controlled by water, whenever you want your plants to have nutrition you can always go ahead and water them so the planted pill would be activated and release all the goodness. The moist the soil becomes the more permeable the Nutricote’s outer layer becomes. Because of the water control, you can always choose to activate the nutritional release without having to depend on external factors.
  • Nutricote has evenly coated granular which can provide an even distribution of nutrition to the plants and plants can grow at an even pace.

What is Osmocote?

Osmocote is a brand that has a variety of slow-release fertilizers. This brand has gained popularity among users over a period of time. This has been in use among farmers and horticulture for generations. Osmocote is more of controlled release fertilizer that provides nutrients to plants totally in a controlled way. To our fellow gardeners, it is known for its accessibility. Here are some detailed characteristics of Osmocote that can give a good idea about this fertilizer.

What is osmocote
  • Osmocote contains a very balanced formulation of essential nutrients. It has a very composed potion of Nitrogen, phosphate, potash, magnesium, sulfur, iron, boron, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, zinc, and other micronutrients. This balanced combination of essential nutrients is the reason Osmocote becoming so popular over the generations. This formula covers almost all the nutritional needs of plants.
  • Osmocote has been designed to provide nutrients to plants over an extended period. The release of nutrients can vary according to the type of Osmocote fertilizers. The fertilizer is available in five different longevities, which are 3-4, 5-6, 8-9, 12-14, and 16-18. Since the fertilizer stays in soil for a long period it provides nutrients at a slow pace that makes Osmocote very convenient.
  • Osmocote comes in various forms, which include granular, pellets, liquid, or beads. As it comes in so many forms it becomes very easy to apply to plants. The coated beads and granular form are slow-releasing fertilizers. The best part is Osmocote does not get affected by water, moisture, salinity, pH, microbial activity, or water quality. They have released nutrients with temperature. It is proven that Osmocote starts to release nutrients from 0 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees.
  • Osmocote can be used for a wide variety of plants and can be used in almost every kind from flower, vegetable, and fruit trees to indoor plants. Not only plants Osmocote can work in any type of soil too. On the other hand, Osmocote too reduces the possibility of nutrient leaching and runoff.

Nutricote VS Osmocote

Now we know the detailed characteristics of Nutricote and Osmocote and can almost see what are the similarity and what are differences. As we can understand Nutricote and Osmocote both are almost similar type of fertilizer that helps plants to grow. They are both some kind of slow-releasing fertilizers. Though everyone has been trying to find the best one among them so the plants can have the best fertilizer and meet the preference of gardeners for their lovely plants. So here takes a look at the differences that we have found between Nutricote and Osmocote so that you can find the best one according to your preference.

Nutricote vs osmocote
Outer coatingNutricote fertilizers have polyolefin resin, tac, and nonionic coating on their outer layerOsmocote has Polymeric resin coating
ActivationNutricote activates when they come in contact with moisture in the soilWhile Osmocote is controlled by temperature and releases from 0 to 100 degrees Celsius.
NPK ratioNutricote has NPK of 13 +11 + 11 on averageWhere the ratio of NPK in Osmocote is 2: 1: 3
FormulaNutricote comes in granular form which can be used by spreading on soil or by mixing with soil while pottingOsmocote comes in both granular and liquid forms which makes it much more handy
LongevitySince Nutricote dissolves with moisture, you might have to reapply this fertilizer very often than you intend it to. As nothing other than temperature can affect Osmocote it has lower chances of easy dissolving. 
Weather appropriateNutricote can be used all over the world regardless of the weatherOsmocote would not work in areas of freezing weather

After knowing all the characteristics and differences between Nutricote and Osmocote you might be able to decide for yourself which one you would like better. If not and still are eager to know our opinion, then hop onto the next part.

Nutricote vs Osmocote: Which One Is Better?

Which one is better

Well, we have gone through all the details of similarities and dissimilarities of Nutricote and Osmocote and found the most anticipated answer of yours, which is better among these two?  We do not think there is anything better than one another because Nutricote and Osmocote both fertilizers have a nutrient component that boosts the plant’s growth and provides a longer healthy life. They both release nutrients slowly into the soil and help the plant to fulfill its daily nutrients. But yes I would say when you are going to choose fertilizer must consider your surroundings and weather. If your garden is in an area that is close to a water body and has over-moisture, then it is better to avoid Nutricote and opt for Osmocote. Also if you live in an area where the weather is freezing then you must avoid Osmocote cause in freezing weather this fertilizer would not even buzz. If you live in humid warm weather, you can go for Osmocote.

But mostly for choosing the right fertilizer go for the one that you think would be handy for you and also the type of plants you have in the garden. After considering all the above-mentioned, the decision still remains yours to take. Until you decide let’s take a look at the application procedures of both fertilizers.

How to Apply These Fertilizers?

Since they have differences, it is important to know how you will be applying your fertilizer to your garden. The application might be similar in some cases but there is a slight difference for Nutricote which we will see below:

How to Apply These Fertilizers
How to apply these fertilizers

Applying Osmocote

Osmocote is very easily available on the market and you can buy either the granular ones or in liquid spray forms. You can either use the Osmocote with the soil mixture or put some on top of the soil around the plant. Since Osmocote is a slow-release fertilizer it does not have to be mixed with anything else and you can just directly put the fertilizer on the soil. When applying the fertilizer, you can measure the amount by pot diameter in every 15 cm of pot put 1TBs of Osmocote. You can use Osmocote on plants every 4 months. You don’t want to use too much fertilizer that would cause nutrient leaching and pollute the area.

Applying Nutricote

Nutricote has a similar applying method as Osmocote except very little exception. You can apply Nutricote to your plants by mixing them with the soil or by simply putting them around the soil. But for Nutricote, it is better not to apply it on top of the soil. Since Nutricote is a water-soluble fertilizer it can wash away and get dissolved very easily if get touch with water. For Nutricote apply the fertilizer 2-3 inches deep and water the plant right after. This would activate the fertilizer.


1. What is Nutricote good for?

From seedlings to mature plants Nutricote is good for every stage of the plant growth cycle. Just make sure that you are adding the right amount to the type of plant you are growing.

2. What is the best Osmocote for plants?

There are a variety of them but the slow-release ones are best. They can provide long-term benefits to the plant without contaminating the soil with too much fertilizer.

3. How often do you use NUTRICOTE?

Since this is a slow-acting fertilizer, it will remain in the soil for a really long time. But, you can reapply within 100 to 180 days.

Final Thoughts

Nutricote and Osmocote both are slowly releasing fertilizers that get activated in different ways and have different compositions. The question of finding the best one among them makes these two fertilizers come face to face. With the detailed digging through their composition and structure, it is good to say that these fertilizers are almost similar and can be used in place of another except for one to two differences. You have to choose the right fertilizer among them based on your preference and based on your plants. So read it thoroughly and choose the one.


Todd Smith is a trained ecologist with five years of experience in environmental conservation and sustainability. He has a deep passion for promoting sustainable practices and has developed a thorough understanding of the natural world and its complex interconnections.

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