Products, Sustainability
September 06, 2021 | 9 min read

OSMOCOTE 5: We Grow Ideas So You Can Grow Plants


The future of sustainable plant and crop growth is mainly being determined by innovations in fertilizer technology. Over 50 years ago, Osmocote® pioneered the first generation of controlled-release fertilizers. Today, ICL’s Osmocote is the number one coated fertilizer in horticulture in the world.

So, What Is Osmocote and How Does It Work?

Osmocote is an innovative type of controlled-release fertilizer that nourishes crops with Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPK), and all essential trace elements. Each individual fertilizer granule is coated with an organic resin over a nutrient core. The thickness of the patented resin can be varied during manufacture to allow the required daily release of nutrients. 

Osmocote fertilizer granules can also be produced to deliver a specific longevities, calibrated to the growth requirements of particular crops. The controlled release fertilizer allows farmers to reduce wastage and environmentally damaging runoff, and eliminates the possibility of negative impacts such as fertilizer crop burn. 

Osmocote granules are designed for convenience and ease of use. Farmers simply mix the required amount into the plant’s growing medium and then leave the fertilizer to do its work. As the plants are irrigated, the water penetrates the resin coating on each fertilizer granule and releases dissolved nutrients. 

  • Osmotic pressure (influenced by temperature) releases the NPK nutrients and trace elements through the granular coating.
  • The nutrients flow outwards at a constant and controlled rate for the lifecycle of the fertilizer. 
  • The resin coating eventually breaks down and disintegrates after all nutrients are released.

The brand name Osmocote is derived from the words osmosis and coating. Osmosis is the scientific term for the movement of water through a selectively permeable membrane from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration.

The Oscmocote Granule


The Oscmocote Granule

Structure of Osmocote


Structure of Osmocote

Osmocote Working Principles


Osmocote products

The Advantages of Osmocote Controlled-Release Fertilizers

  1. Nutrients are supplied across the growth cycle of the plant in a controlled manner with only temperature influencing the release of Osmocote® controlled-release fertilizers.
  2. Better plant growth is achieved due to the continuous and uniform availability of nutrients.
  3. The coating that is applied around a controlled release fertilizer’s granules minimizes the leaching or washing away of nutrients.
  4. Because the plant grows evenly and gradually, it is less susceptible to damage and diseases resulting in greener, stronger, and more resilient plants.

Growers can achieve higher production and higher quality by using coated fertilizers. Today ICL continues to innovate and leverage the latest scientific knowledge in the field of horticulture to develop the world’s best-coated fertilizers.

Osmocote has become a trusted product that is used by thousands of growers around the world.

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Fertilizer Longevities from Six Weeks to Eighteen Months

The most important part of controlled-release fertilizers is the coating itself. The difference in coating thickness and type of coating affects the direct availability of nutrients to the plant as well as the leaching during the growth season.

Osmocote controlled-release fertilizers are not affected by salinity, pH, microbial activity, water quality, or rain. Only soil temperature and coating type and thickness influence the longevity and release of nutrients.

osmocote 5 granules


The future of stronger and healthier plants is hidden in each small granule  of Osmocote 5

Osmocote5:  Small Granule, Big Impact!

Next Generation Fertilization

With over 50 years of experience, ICL is proud to introduce Osmocote  5, the fifth generation of innovative controlled release next gen fertilizers straight from our Osmocote Green Lab.

Thanks to OTEA (Optimized Trace Element Availability)-system and NutriMatch-Release technology, each bag of fertilizer provide small granules that make a big impact.

Watch the video to join ICL’s Gerard Klein Onstenk, International Marketing Manager Ornamental Horticulture, behind the scenes at the ICL trial station in the Netherlands, what Osmocote 5 is and how it benefits your plants.

The Major Advantages of Osmocote 5 for Growers

  • Extraordinary leaf color
  • Optimum availability of trace elements
  • Healthier plants of higher quality, with improved branching, earlier budding, and strength.
  • Greater plant resilience, thanks to smooth and steady plant growth enabled by NutriMatch-Release technology.
  • Great return on your investment
  • Sustained nutrient release to decrease leaching and gaseous losses

NutriMatch Release Technology: Uniform and Continuous Nutrient Release.

Plants grow best when the release of nutrients matches the plants’ needs at every growth phase. For example, younger plants need fewer nutrients at the start than later during crop growth. Our brand new NutriMatch Release Technology provides an NPK release pattern that matches the plant’s needs more closely than ever before.

The Osmocote 5 range has been developed to provide growers with a choice of product longevities to meet their plant’s needs.

Osmocote5 has been tried, tested, and approved. Osmocote 5 was received enthusiastically by growers all over the world after testing the big impact on their plants. Osmocote 5 safely delivers greater nutrient efficiency and effectiveness.

ICL’s Commitment to Specialty Fertilizer R&D

ICL employs over 500 R&D specialists including some of the world’s most innovative scientists to serve our customers and to develop new, sustainable products and applications. Over 60 years of experience in the development and application of specialty fertilizers has enabled us to evolve into a leader in plant nutrition and a professional partner for the green sector.

Our Specialty Fertilizers’ Research & Development facilities are among the world’s best. Our scientists are dedicated to the development of new products and innovative technologies to improve the environmental profile of our plant nutrition and maintenance products and services.

Our innovation ecosystem is fully resourced with our vast experience in the agriculture industry, global presence, and our determination to continue to provide farmers state-of-the-art products and solutions that help grow healthier, stronger plants with a low environmental footprint now and in the future.

How can we help you?