Does your plant in the nursery pot feel light? Are the leaves on the plant dropping or a bit floppy or wrinkly? When you touch the soil and push your finger (or chopstick) into the first 2-3cm does it come out without any soil? If so you probably need to water!

It’s best to water your plant thoroughly when it needs water rather than just a little and often. We prefer to keep our plants in nursery pots – it makes it easier to water them and let the plant drain afterwards. 

Lift the plant out of the decorative pot and water – you could do this outside, in the bath or shower, or over a sink or washing-up bowl. Once the water has all drained out replace the plant into its decorative pot. 

If you are watering a larger plant in situ you may need to check it is not standing in excess water inside a decorative pot or the drainage tray. 

For plants like succulents and cacti that require the soil to dry out completely before rewatering you may want to use a chopstick down the side of the pot to see if the bottom of the pot is dry like the top. You’re looking for soil to be dry but not so dry that it begins to shrink and come away from the sides of the nursery pot. Many succulents and cacti are best watered from the bottom – that is, placing the nursery pot in a bowl of water for 30 minutes or so and letting it take on what it needs. This prevents rot around the crown of the plant. 

Generally with all plants it is best to err on the side of caution. If you are not sure you plant needs watering wait 2-3 more days and then water. More plants die from overwatering than underwatering! 

If you have overwatered your plant and are concerned your plant may have root rot there is a quick fix. Remove the plant from the pot, then remove all soil from the roots of the plant and rinse them clean. Trim off any brown or squishy roots then make a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water and submerge the roots for 30 – 60 minutes. Hydrogen peroxide is cheap (50/- for 200ml) and available in any chemist. After, don’t rinse and repot in well-drained potting mix.