Rewild: Planting Roots on Capitol Hill

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e plant boutique, Rewild, which is one of three shops plus the US National Botanic Garden shop, that Lily has created. Her passion for house plants is inspiring hill residents to bring plants into their spaces.

Have you noticed Capitol Hill residents carrying beautiful plants in colorful pots from Eastern Market to their homes lately? Suddenly the Hill streets are full of potted plants and smiling faces.

Rewild, a new plant boutique, has come to Eastern Market at 222 Seventh St. SE. One of four Rewild shops in the DC area, the Eastern Market location is a refreshing, calming space; its spirit washes over you as soon as you walk in.

Deepening the neighborhood connection, one of the three co-owners, Lily Cox, is a Capitol Hill resident, who lives near the 14th St. Safeway. The shop opened January 21st of this year after a long incubation period dealing with city permits. “It was definitely worth the wait,” says Lily “and we love the energy of Eastern Market, and the people that come in.”  Lily’s Rewild co-owners are Kyle Cannon and Joe Ressler. 

The three opened their first shop in Shaw in 2018, then added Ballston Quarter in Arlington, and Cabin John in North Bethesda, Maryland. Rewild was also chosen to be the first vendor to manage a gift shop at the US Botanical Garden, at the bottom of Capitol Hill. 

Lily says it is a fun adventure for the company to build a museum gift shop in addition to their stores. The company gathers its plants in a central warehouse in Hyattsville and distributes them to their outlets. Most of their plants come from sources in Florida arriving by truck once a month.

Rewild is a great resource for special gifts that keep on giving, like this succulent bowl, that even has a dinosaur exploring. Watch for great ideas for Mother’s Day.

Lily Cox’s Passion for Plants

If central casting was looking for a creative, calming, enthusiastic plant lover to open a small plant boutique in the middle of a thriving city center, they would have stopped looking when they met Lily. She is warm and inviting from the first hello and seems as happy as she can be surrounded by the hundreds of plants hanging from the ceiling, sitting in small and large pots on carved wood shelves, or lining the walls from the front of the store to the back door. The green walls and beautiful floor tiles are just other elements that create a peaceful feeling.

Lily says she has always loved plants, starting as a hobbyist and expanding out from there. She started making Kokedamas, a Japanese Moss Ball that is a unique way to present plants and flowers. It is often seen with bonsai arrangements, “I enjoyed making them and soon people were asking if I would make some for them. From there I branched out to floral arrangements and designs and started selling my work in shops like Made in DC.” 

“When I travel, I enjoy checking out plant shops in other cities. Portland Oregon has a lot of great plant boutiques, which were inspiration for Rewild,” says Lily. Part of the mission of Rewild is “to inspire and create a retreat from the urban setting, rooted in the belief that plant care is self-care.” 

Everyone Can Grow a Houseplant

Lily is very confident that with Rewild’s educational help, anyone can grow a houseplant.  Even if you have never had a houseplant, all Rewild staff are trained to guide you through the process. “Some plants need very little attention, like the snake plant,” Lily advises. She and her colleagues will ask you a series of questions about the amount of care and time you are interested in investing; the kind of light available in your space; and how much routine you wish to have to care for the plant. 

Plants for kids can be challenging, but something like the silver philadondron can be magical watching the trails and new leaves.

The shop offers a 90-day guarantee for their plants, except for their orchids. The staff is always available to answer questions if your plant has the droops and will help you nurse it back to good health. Rewild uses a potting soil that is created in Pennsylvania with no peat moss included. “We have found this soil to be a very important part of our plants success,” she said. Rewild repots their plants for free before sending them out of the shop. 

Unique Gifts for Young and Old

Lily says their shops always carries plants that make great gifts. “Giving a live plant in an artistic handmade pot is very popular and we always create special gifts for holidays like Valentine’s Day. We will do something special for Mother’s Day as well.”

Rewild also has a few plants that are good starters for interested children. It is sometimes tough to keep children engaged, as plants are generally a delayed gratification. Choosing a plant that puts on new leaves quickly or is easily propagated will keep kids involved.  Of course, the most common philodendrons are a great choice for a beginner, young or old.  Rewild has an entire shelf of them from silver to green to micans. The staff can help you maneuver through the hundreds of plants. Plants can be delivered, and the store even has a hand cart they will loan you if you live nearby, as long as you promise to return it.  “We have never lost one,” says Lily.

Rewild is at 222 7th Street SE at the alley. Step inside to find a calm oasis of plants and beauty.

Rewild is open seven days a week and is an enjoyable stop for new or seasoned gardeners. The plants range from a few dollars to hundreds for rare ones. “We are competitive with other local garden centers,” says Lily.  Adding plants to your home will make you a happier, healthier human, and now there is a new local way to jump in.

Rindy O’Brien loves her houseplants, some dating back many years. To contact Rindy, rindyobrien@gmail.com