Osmocote for AVs

quitecontrary(6)April 11, 2009

Hi, all -

For years, I have used Osmocote to fertilize my wick-watered African violets, even though I know that Optimara does not recommend it. I mean, they have their own fertilizer to sell, right? I find the Osmocote to be easy and effective. I used to feed my violets (and all my gessies and other houseplants) with Osmocote prior to AV shows. They looked fine and won blue and class ribbons. The only thing about it is I need to remember when I fed my plants so that I don't overfeed them. I am currently using the 3 to 4 month Flower and Vegetable 14-14-14 formula. I used to use the 8 to 9 month stuff, which also worked well. With the 3-4 month Osmocote, I feed once in early spring and once in early fall. This means my plants are a bit hungry and resting in August and January. If I wanted to push them at those times, of course I could give them a weak dose of a liquid food, or just do the Osmocote quarterly instead of biannually. Basically, I feed when I repot. I share this information because others may also prefer this feeding method, but little information is out there to confirm that it works. If you are interested, I say try it out and let us know what you think. I feed at the rate of about 1/4 tsp. of Osmocote per 4" pot. The linked article below says 1.28 grams per 4" pot is optimal. Can anybody tell me what that would be in teaspoons? Many have said that African violets do not like urea. The other link below says that Osmocote does not contain it. If others have experience with this, I would like to hear how it went!


Link to Osmocote for greenhouse AVs:


No urea in Osmocote:


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This is the closest I could find on the net. Using that formula I would estimate that a 1/4 teaspoon would be about 1.25 grams.

1 teaspoon = 0.17 oz = 5 grams

Fred in NJ

Here is a link that might be useful: teaspoon conversion chart

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 10:35AM
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Fred -

Thanks for looking up the conversion chart. Looks like I am definitely in the right ballpark with 1/4 tsp. per 4" pot. I especially like the Osmocote for plants I am giving away to beginners, nursing homes, etc. It is unlikely that the plant will receive constant feeding in those settings; the Osmocote gives the plant a better chance of rebloom. I give 'em away wicked with plastic waterers. Also forgot to mention that if I am not repotting and the AV needs to be fed, I just topdress with the Osmocote.

I am thinking about mixing the 3-4 month and 8-9 month half and half. This might give me a longer residual action, plus I think the longer acting stuff has micronutrients. Unfortunately, not all the Osmocote formulas are readily available in small quantities. I would never use up a 50-lb bag of Osmocote for houseplants. Might throw some around the yard, though! Outside, Osmocote has some environmental benefits in that it holds the fertilizer in place. This means less pollution from fertilizer runoff.

Just some thoughts,


    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:11PM
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