Journal

Yawn meets Dr Katie Cooper

A good night's sleep is essential to help people be their best selves during the day. But, as we recently discovered, there are many studies documenting the positive effects of plants too. 

To find out more we caught up with expert Dr Katie Cooper, psychologist and co-founder of plant subscription service Bloombox Club.

Katie, tell us how it all began, what inspired the idea behind Bloombox?

I founded Bloombox Club after working as a psychologist in London and seeing first hand the benefits plant care brought to my clients’ health. The improvement in their mental health was astonishing and surprising to me. I started doing research into it and found a huge amount of benefits plants bring. Plant care is a tremendously effective hobby for wellbeing - a kind of active meditation.

The fast pace of our modern life means that taking a moment to reconnect with nature is more important now than ever. Taking care of plants has been shown to reduce the levels of stress hormones and increase the production of happy hormones in the brain. Plants improve our immune system, are natural mood moderators and some can even purify the air we breathe. We live in a very fast paced world and often don’t take real time-out for ourselves - just spending 10 minutes dusting the leaves of your plants can make you feel better!

Do you have a favourite plant that you’ve offered to your customers or keep in your own home? If so, why?

One of my favourites is my huge Alocasia. It’s taking over our lounge with it’s massive, far-reaching leaves. Whenever I feel stressed I go sit under it for a little while. I’ve even got a rocking chair in place for a perfect 10 minutes of recuperation.

I’m also very much into hanging plants at the moment. We’ve got quite a selection on our website now from Hanging Hearts (one of our most popular plants) to Linear Hoyas and Strings of Pearls. They’re perfect if you’ve run out of shelf space like me!

What’s your vision for the future with Bloombox?

Our mission is to keep going until homes and offices in the UK are filled with plants. People have lost touch with nature in many ways and don’t live surrounded by it anymore. So, we need to bring nature into our homes. We’ll be looking to expand our subscription options as well as increase our shop range.

Also, the UK has the longest working week in Europe and offices are rarely the healthiest places to spend so much of our time in. Plants boost creativity, productivity and positivity, so it seems only natural (excuse the pun!) to fill our working spaces with them!

When you have time to yourself, how do you like to relax and do less?

Both I and my co-founder are mums, so kids play a huge part in keeping us sane and grounded. We both make sure we take time out on weekends and dedicate ourselves to family time. Although, we often find ourselves doing activities like repotting plants with the kids, so Bloombox Club is always present in a way!

What are your top three tips for our readers on caring for their plants as we head into the winter season?

Winter is the season when plants have a rest from growing. In many ways, it’s the easiest season to take care of them as they don’t have many needs. But, you do have to adjust your care routine from the spring/summer growth bursts.

  1. Do not overwater! Your plants will need less water than in the spring and summer as no energy is being put into growing. Many succulents will only require watering once a month for example. The best way to know if they need water is to stick your finger about an inch into the soil - if it’s moist, let it be; if it’s dry, give it some water. Some plants like Sansevierias like to fully dry out before getting more water. Remember, the worst thing you can do to a plant is overwater!
  2. Check the light. As the shorter days come in, check on the best positioning of your plants for optimum light. Those in near a north-facing window may need to move to a brighter spot during the winter months to ensure they get enough light. Also, make sure the leaves are dust free so they can absorb as much light as possible.
  3. Prune and repot. This is the perfect time to tidy your plants up, cutting off any dead leaves and overgrown stems as many plants are practically dormant during this time. It’s also a good time to repot with fresh soil full of nutrients, so they’re ready to flourish once spring sets in.

To celebrate the launch of our new print 'Eve' click here to enter our latest competition in collaboration with Bloombox. One lucky entrant will win a 3-month Bloombox plant subscription with ceramic pot with a pair of our new pyjamas in print Eve (and a few extra Yawn goodies for the autumn season).

Love Yawn x