I think your hypothesis for why the plants are dying is a good one. As a side note hydrochloric acid is very reactive, so it doesn't stay as hydrochloric acid for very long once you take it out of its container. It will react with almost anything it touches and convert into other chemicals. Thus, you would only say that the plants are exposed to HCl if you soaked them in it. In your set up, it would be more correct to talk about the plants being exposed to a low pH.
I like the dialogue between the student and the mentor. This is a student who is typically very quiet in class. I love seeing him share his ideas.
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1502892.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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