Fans were quick to voice their shock and surprise over the burning pots.
‘Wtf!! No way that’s lethal 😢 makes u wonder how healthy the food is once grown..???’
Said another: ‘I think it’s safe to say don’t grow these right now. Especially in the heat we get.’
Seasoned gardeners reacted to Kael’s post with concern, saying that fires like these have been ‘known to happen.’
Adds one fan: ‘A lot of fertilisers can spontaneous combust.’
Says another: ‘You just need to be aware that things like this, and compost heaps, can overheat from bacterial action and ignite. They need damp, warm conditions.’
Another gave a more dire warning: ‘Spontaneous combustion of damp organic material is possible even without full sun under the right conditions. Spontaneous combustion of compost piles and hay baled or stored too damp are relatively common. Even natural fibre fabrics (cotton/linen) can combust in a cupboard if put away damp.’
But many fans were quick to point out that the Woolworths instructions clearly state that the pots shouldn’t be left in full sun.
‘They should not be in full sun in this state. They are too small to stay sufficiently hydrated. I would hate for people to be scared away from probably the best supermarket giveaway to date.’
Added another: ‘Says not to leave them outside when sprouting, no wonder they got so dry and lit up.’
A Woolworths spokesperson tells New Idea Food: 'We are currently looking into this claim.
'As a general gardening rule, keep your plants out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods and away from surfaces that may increase the intensity of direct sunlight, such as metallic surfaces.
'It is also important to check that the soil is adequately watered. Soil that requires watering will be dry and dusty to the touch and may also be a lighter colour. Seedlings need to be kept well watered in order to thrive.'