I bought and planted a small Album Rhododendron in early April. I soaked it in a bucket of water for an hour and roughed up the root ball a bit before planting. It is under some Oak Trees in a location where their leaves weren't raked up for about a decade. It gets about 2 hours of direct sun in the late morning and dappled shade for the rest of the day. I'm mulching with oak leaves which I run through a chipper. I haven't used any fertilizer yet. I chose this particular plant because it had a lot of buds on it. It did not flower this spring but has put out tons and tons of growth.
For the past two-three weeks I've been noticing that the plant is looking wilted during the afternoon. I know that it is normal for a Rhodie to wilt during hot afternoons but that if they look wilted in the morning there's a problem. What concerns me is that this plant is starting to wilt on days where the high temp is only 74. What's going to happen when we get into late july and have a 5 day stretch where the highs are 95+ each day.
Should I water this plant more often? Right now I'm only watering if I looks wilty for 3 straight days. I worry that it may not have the root structure to support all the new growth, is there a way for me to encourage root growth?