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I recently started to germinate a mango seed in a damp paper towel. Today, when I went to check if the towel was still damp, I noticed that the once soft pink root has darkened from the tip. It also left some yellow residue on the paper towel.

Is my seed at risk? What can I do to save it?

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You are right; generally the root can change colour to brown on many plants grown from pits, but the tip of the root is most often white. As to why this may happen, perhaps the paper towel contains or was prepared using some chemical process that left a residual chemical that the root is sensitive to. An immediate action might be to move the seed to a pot with soil to encourage it to grow in the presence of protective soil bacteria, or at least to move to a more neutral paper environment (for example non-bleached) which may produce a better result.

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  • Thanks for answering! I always buy eco-friendly paper towel, but I'm aware that may be treated with chemicals as well. Any recommendations on the size of the pot I should plant it in? And how deep the seed should be planted? – AlbiP May 7 at 14:12

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