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May 25, 2012
Osmocote vs. Miracle-Gro for Wave
The Wave Crew  Wave Petunias | Cool Wave Pansies

We often receive questions about fertilizer: How often? How much? Which one? So here is the breakdown between two well-known brands of feed - Osmocote and Miracle-Gro.

Osmocote is a pre-planting, slow release fertilizer. Miracle-Gro (unless using the new continuous-feed, shake-able formulation) is a water soluble fertilizer used every other week or so.

They both work.

The advantage to the Osmocote is that it is working even if you’re not there. The Miracle-Gro advantage is that if the plants start to look hungry, the fertilizer would be taken up immediately.

Which one you choose is dependent on what soil your Waves are planted in, and how much attention they will get. Low-nutrient soil would benefit from the pre-plant  Osmocote application, whereas rich-in-nutrients soil may not require it with an occasional feed with Miracle-Gro being enough.

Wave Petunias and Cool Wave Pansies are heavy feeders, so we recommend a pre-plant application of Osmocote using the 4-month, slow-release formulation (especially for containers) and then feed with a Miracle-Gro water soluble feed if the plants begin to look hungry.You can tell this if their growth and flowering begin to slow, or their lower leaves begin to turn yellow.

Good luck! And if you have more questions, visit our FAQ page or email us anytime at

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Tags: Fertilizer
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Reader Comments (2)

If I'm planting masses of waves directly in the ground in rows approximately 2-3ft apart for a uniform look, how much osmocote should be applied around each plant and how deep?
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | Dee

Hi Dee ... We recommend following the instructions on the label of your plant food package. They oftentimes include dosage and a measuring cup. Granular fertilizer can be added to the hole for each Wave plant, and mixed gently into the soil before placing the plant. The hole should never be deeper than the height of the pot. You don't want to bury your petunias too deep - this could hinder air-flow and harbor disease if moisture sets in.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | The Wave Team