All You Need To Know About Growing Eggplant

You want to grow eggplant at home and have some questions in this regard? Great!

I answer almost 100 questions about growing eggplants for you in the following chapters.

Table of Contents

Time & Duration

Do eggplants grow year-round?

While it is indeed possible to grow eggplants year-round, I suggest you just grow them in the main season instead of growing them in off-season months since you will just get much better growth of your plants and also your yields tend to be much higher.

Do aubergines grow fast?

It will take you between 90 and 130 days to grow eggplants from seed to harvest.

While this may sound a lot, there are actually many vegetables out there that take much longer.

For instance, if you want to grow pumpkins or melons, it may take you up to 6 months to do so.

Yet, there are also garden vegetables that you can grow in around one month, for example carrots.

Prepare the soil!

Hence, eggplants are kind of in the average when it comes to growing time if we look at the whole range of garden plants.

How long does it take to grow eggplants?

While the average person will take between 3 and 5 months to grow eggplants from sowing to harvest, there are many factors that play a role regarding how long it will take you to grow eggplants.

For instance, if you are an experienced gardener, you will be able to grow eggplants much faster than beginners since you will make fewer mistakes.

Also the climatic conditions matter a lot. Moreover, your watering schedule and the space you provide to your plants greatly affect how well eggplants will grow.

As you can see, it depends on your individual circumstances how long it will take you to grow eggplant from seed to harvest and I can therefore only give you a rough range of what to expect.

Do eggplants grow back every year?

No, eggplants are grown as annuals and this means that you only harvest them one time and then dispose of the plant material.

Hence, if you want to get multiple yields per year, you also have to grow multiple batches of eggplants.

How long do eggplants live?

Eggplants usually only live for one season. Even though eggplants could be grown as perennials and could live for multiple years, it is more common to grow them as annuals due to economic reasons and most people get rid of eggplants after the harvest within the first growing year.

How long does it take until eggplants flower?

It will usually take eggplants 6 to 8 weeks to flower if you plant them in spring.

However, please note that this also greatly depends on the lighting and the overall conditions you provide to your plants.

The better the growing conditions, the sooner your plants tend to flower and the sooner you will be able to harvest them.

Can you grow eggplant in fall?

Instead of growing eggplants in the main season like spring and summer, you could also try to grow them in fall.

However, I don’t recommend you do so since growing eggplants in fall also means growing them indoors and you will not be able to provide as natural growing conditions to your plants as outdoors.

Moreover, you will also have to clean your home more often and your eggplants will also take away lots of space from you.

All in all, I suggest you just grow eggplants in the main season outdoors since it will make your life much easier and you will also be able to expect higher yields on average.

Can you grow aubergines in winter?

Similar to growing eggplants in fall, I am also not a big advocate of growing eggplant in winter.

You will just not be able to grow eggplants as well in those off-season months since growing conditions will just be suboptimal.

Suboptimal conditions for your plants also lead to slower growth and to lower yields and you should therefore start growing aubergine in spring instead of starting to grow them in winter.

Location & Climate

Will eggplants grow in shade?

While it is possible to grow eggplants in shade in theory, I don’t suggest you try to do so since you will run into all sorts of issues.

Eggplants love the sun and if you are not able to provide them with at least a few hours of sunlight per day, they will just not grow that well.

In turn, it will take you almost forever to grow eggplants from seed to harvest in shady environments and I therefore recommend you just grow them in spots where they can get plenty of natural sunlight instead.

Will eggplants grow in partial shade?

Half-shady environments are perfect for growing eggplants, at least for the first few weeks of the growing season.

During this time, eggplant seedlings will be quite vulnerable to radiation and the heat and it is therefore better to grow them in partial shade instead of growing your eggplant seedlings in full sun.

Do eggplants grow best in full sun?

Once your eggplants mature and get bigger and stronger, it is time to provide them with full sun all day long.

Sure, you could also grow them in partially shady locations.

However, the more sun you provide for your plants, the faster and stronger they will grow and also your yield tends to be higher most of the time.

Will eggplants tolerate frost?

Like most other garden vegetables, eggplants also don’t like frost at all.

Especially at a young age, your plants will be quite vulnerable to the cold and I therefore urge you to only grow eggplants outdoors once you don’t expect frost anymore.

Do you have to protect eggplants from the sun?

While protecting small eggplant seedlings from the sun can make perfect sense so that your plants don’t have to deal with excessive levels of radiation, you will not have to protect mature plants anymore.

Thus, make sure to use a greenhouse to grow eggplant seedlings to protect them from the sun and transplant those eggplant seedlings outdoors later in the year once they get strong enough to deal with the harsh outside conditions.

How much space do you need to grow eggplants?

Eggplants can grow quite big and this means that you will have to provide lots of space to them.

On average, I recommend you plan around 10 square feet per plant in your garden so that your eggplants don’t have to compete for sunlight or nutrients with each other and can grow in the best possible manner.

Will eggplants grow indoors?

Eggplants can also be grown indoors. However, as mentioned earlier, there are many downsides to growing eggplants indoors.

First, you will just not be able to provide as natural growing conditions as outdoors.

Second, lighting and humidity will be suboptimal as well.

Third, you will have to clean your home more often. Fourth, eggplants will take away lots of space from you.

As you can see, you should definitely grow eggplants outdoors if you have the opportunity to do so and growing them indoors only makes sense if you simply don’t have another choice.

Can you grow eggplants without a garden or balcony?

If you don’t have a garden or a balcony to grow eggplants, your only option would be to grow them indoors.

However, growing eggplants indoors is not recommendable in my opinion and I therefore suggest you wait with growing eggplants until you move to a bigger place.

Can you grow eggplants in small flats?

Growing eggplants in small flats can be pretty annoying.

Not only will your plants not have natural growing conditions, but they will also take away lots of precious space from you and if you live in a small apartment with no balcony right now, I highly recommend you wait with growing eggplants until you have significantly more space to avoid any issues in this regard.

Can you grow eggplants in an aquarium?

You could also try to grow eggplants in aquariums. In fact, you could use an aquarium as kind of a pot by just filling it with potting soil.

However, you will still not be able to assure that excess water will be able to run off properly and this means that the roots of your eggplants may rot sooner or later.

Hence, while it might be possible to grow eggplants in aquariums in theory, I don’t advise you to do so in practice and you should rather rely on conventional plant tubs instead.

Can you grow eggplants in a terrarium?

Some people also try to grow eggplants in their terrarium.

While you could use terrariums as pots similar to aquariums, you would still face the same challenges regarding waterlogging and using conventional pots for growing eggplants instead of terrariums would therefore be a much better idea in my humble opinion.

Can you grow eggplants in a bucket?

You could also grow eggplants in buckets. In fact, you will be perfectly fine as long as you drill some small holes into the bottom of your bucket so that water can run off properly.

After drilling those holes, you can just fill your bucket with soil and use it as an alternative to classical flower pots.

Can you grow eggplants in bags?

If you want to grow eggplants in bags, make sure to use fabric bags instead of plastic ones since they are much stabler and are also better since water can run off properly.

Also make sure to use big bags so that your eggplants will have enough space and you will have a decent alternative to conventional gardening pots.

Can you grow eggplants in hanging baskets?

While it is also possible to grow eggplants in hanging baskets, you should make sure to stabilize your plants if you want to do so since the fruits of your plants can get quite heavy and without any stabilization measures, chances are that your plant will just not be able to hold those fruits long enough until they are ripe.

Can you grow eggplants in rainy climatic zones?

While it is possible to grow eggplants in rainy climatic zones, you should still not expect the same results compared to growing them in sunny environments.

The fewer hours of sun your plants get, the longer it will take them to grow from seed to harvest and your yields will also be much lower on average.

Can you grow eggplants in tropical climatic zones?

It is indeed possible to grow eggplants in tropical climatic zones.

However, please choose an eggplant variety that has been designed for high levels of humidity so that your plants will not start to rot sooner or later.

Can you grow eggplants in regions with permafrost?

Growing eggplants in regions with permafrost is almost impossible, at least if you want to grow them outdoors. Instead, you could use a heated greenhouse or grow eggplants indoors.

While those heated greenhouses consume lots of energy, growing eggplants indoors also implies many issues and I therefore recommend you just get your eggplants from the store instead of growing them yourself in case you live in one of those extremely cold regions.

Do eggplants grow on vines?

No, eggplants don’t grow on vines but rather grow on plants that can get quite big.

If you haven’t seen an eggplant plant before, make sure to have a look at one of the videos in this article to get a better idea of what eggplants really look like during the growth process.

Do eggplants grow underground?

No, eggplants don’t grow underground. Instead, they grow on above the ground.

Also the fruits will develop above the ground in contrast to other plants like potatoes, garlic or onions.

What is the best orientation for growing eggplants?

Since they love the sun, eggplants grow best with south orientation where they can get full sun for many hours per day.

However, it is also possible to grow eggplants in east or west orientation.

Just avoid planting them in north orientation since your plants would barely get any sun at all.

Can you grow eggplants with indirect sunlight?

If you use a greenhouse, you can also grow eggplants with indirect sunlight instead of using traditional direct lighting.

However, in such a case, you should know what you are doing since there are many issues of growing eggplants in greenhouses and it is often much easier to grow them with direct sunlight outdoors instead.

When to grow eggplants from seed?

If you want to grow eggplants from seed, you should start in early spring.

If you still expect frost in your region at this point in time, make sure to grow eggplant seedlings indoors and transplant them outdoors later in the year once it gets warmer.

Where do eggplants grow best?

Eggplants grow best in locations where they get lots of sun and fresh air.

Hence, a sunny spot in your garden would be perfect for growing eggplants.

Where to grow eggplants in pots?

If you don’t have a garden, you could also grow eggplants in pots and put those pots in sunny locations on your balcony.

In such a case, make sure to use really big pots so that your plants get enough nutrients and can grow in a decent manner.

Where to grow eggplants indoors?

While growing eggplants indoors implies many issues, you could still do so if you provide a nice sunny spot to your plants.

Hence, make sure to choose a room with south orientation and big windows to grow eggplants indoors in a decent manner.

Can you grow eggplants in water?

You could also try to grow eggplants in pure water.

However, the reality of the situation is that eggplants need lots of nutrients to grow well and if you use pure water instead of potting soil, chances are that your plants will decay pretty soon.

Consequently, instead of using pure water for growing eggplants, make sure to use proper potting soil and you will be good to go.

Can you grow eggplants with LED lights?

If you want to grow eggplants indoors, you may also think about using artificial lighting to speed up the growth process.

While this might be an interesting idea in theory, LEDs and other forms of artificial lighting will never be able to replace natural sunlight in a sufficient manner and they also consume lots of energy in the long run which is pretty bad for your energy bill and also for our environment.

Hence, instead of using artificial lighting for growing eggplant, make sure to provide your plants with enough natural sunlight in the first place.

Can you grow eggplants in dark rooms?

Since eggplants need plenty of sun to grow well, it would be a pretty bad idea to grow them in dark rooms.

Instead, make sure to provide as much sun as possible to your plants so that your eggplants can grow well and mature in time.

Soil Requirements

Can you reuse soil for growing eggplants the next year?

You can definitely reuse the soil for multiple growing projects.

However, before using reused soil for growing eggplants, make sure to add some natural fertilizer to make the soil richer in nutrients so that your plants will have everything they need to grow in a decent manner.

Do eggplants grow well in waterlogged soil?

No, you should avoid waterlogging at all costs since the roots of your eggplants will rot if they have to deal with waterlogged soil.

Thus, make sure that excess water can run off properly to avoid all the issues that might come along with waterlogged soil.

Do eggplants grow in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?

Eggplants grow best in acidic soil. However, since most soil mixes from the garden center will be acidic in general, you will have a pretty easy time finding a suitable soil mix and in case you are unsure in this regard, you can just ask a salesperson of your local garden center for advice.

Will eggplants grow in sandy soil?

You can also grow eggplants in sandy soil. However, even better would be to make your own soil mix specifically designed for growing eggplants instead of just using sandy soil from the garden center or your garden.

You can also buy those soil mixes in your garden center if you don’t want to figure it out yourself.

Will eggplants grow in clay soil?

Clay soil is not the best option to grow eggplants since water will often not be able to run off properly and also the roots of your plants will have a hard time developing in a healthy manner.

Consequently, instead of using clay soil to grow eggplants, I recommend you just use conventional soil from the garden center since it will just make your life much easier.

Will eggplants grow in compost?

You could also grow eggplants on compost from your garden.

In fact, compost is great since it contains lots of nutrients and it is also fully organic.

Hence, if you have the opportunity to produce your own compost in your garden, you don’t have to get any soil from the garden center but rather rely on your own compost instead.

Plant Care

Do eggplants need a lot of water?

Since eggplants grow quite big, they need lots of water to grow well.

Of course, how much water eggplants need also greatly depends on the stage they are currently in.

While smaller eggplants don’t need lots of water, the water demand increases with the size of your plants.

Moreover, how much water your plants need also greatly depends on the climatic conditions.

The hotter it is outside, the more water your plants will need to grow well.

Do you have to water eggplants on a regular basis?

While a watering schedule can help you not to forget watering your plants, you should frequently adjust it to the conditions outdoors.

For instance, if you grow eggplants outdoors and they get lots of rainwater, you will not have to water them that much during those rainy periods.

However, you will have to water your plants more often during dry periods.

Hence, instead of watering your eggplants in line with a rigid schedule, you should just use your brain and water your plants whenever they need it.

Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to water eggplants?

You can both use filtered as well as unfiltered water.

It doesn’t make any difference in the big picture and I therefore recommend you just use unfiltered tap water to water eggplants since it will just be the easiest way to go.

Should you use rainwater to water eggplants?

You could also just collect rainwater and water your eggplants with it during dry periods of the year.

In fact, rainwater will be perfectly fine and you don’t have to use tap water or any other sort of water if you are able to collect enough rainwater in your garden.

When to stake eggplants?

You should stake eggplants once they reach a height of around 5 inches.

However, you can also wait a little bit longer if you think that your plants are stable enough to deal with harsh outdoor conditions without stabilizing them right now.

What to tie eggplants with?

For staking and tying eggplants, I recommend you just place one stick per plant near your plants and tie your plants with cord to those sticks.

By doing so, your plants will be less vulnerable to heavy winds and their chances to survive in the long will increase substantially.

What to do when eggplants turn yellow?

The leaves of your eggplants turn yellow in case there is something wrong with your watering behavior or if you don’t use enough fertilizer.

Hence, make sure to adjust your watering schedule and see if this helps. If it doesn’t, add some natural fertilizer and wait a few weeks to see the results.

If both measures don’t help, you should also check your plants for pest infestations and get rid of those pests.

How to protect eggplants against wind?

As mentioned earlier, you just have to tie eggplants to sticks and your plants will be protected against heavy winds and even storms if you do it right.

How to protect eggplants against heavy rain?

Protecting eggplants from rain is not necessary once they reach a certain height.

Hence, just wait with transplanting your eggplant seedlings outdoors until they are strong enough to deal with heavy rain without any intervention from your side.

How to protect eggplants against hail?

Protecting eggplants from hail is pretty easy if you grow them in pots.

In such a case, you just have to move your pots to a protected area around your home.

If you grow eggplants in your garden, you may want to use some foliage cover, even though it may not be perfect to protect your plants from heavy hail and you likely still have to expect some losses.

Should you pinch out eggplants?

While you could pinch eggplants, I personally rather recommend you let nature do its work since you can do more harm than good by pinching out eggplants if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t have any prior experience in this regard.

Where to pinch eggplants?

If you want to pinch eggplants for your own reasons, make sure to do it on your balcony or in your garden instead of pinching out your plants indoors to avoid a mess and also to keep pests and other small garden insects out of your home.

Can you grow eggplants without fertilizer?

Eggplants need lots of nutrients to grow well. Hence, while it is possible to grow eggplants without using additional fertilizer, I still recommend you use some natural fertilizer to maximize your yields.

Should you cover your eggplants to protect them against frost?

Covering eggplants to protect them from frost may be a good idea in theory.

Yet, those covers often affect lighting conditions and may therefore confuse your plants.

Therefore, instead of covering eggplants, just wait with transplanting them outdoors until it gets warmer and there will be no need to cover your plants anymore in this regard.

Pests & Diseases

Can you grow eggplants without using pesticides?

It is also possible to grow eggplants without the use of pesticides.

The bigger and stronger your plants get, the more resistant they will become to pests and you should therefore provide optimal growing conditions to minimize the risk of pest infestations.

Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for growing eggplants?

In case pest infestations get too severe, you may have to use pesticides to get some relief for your plants.

However, make sure to choose eco-friendly pesticides over chemical substances to protect our environment and also to make your gardening project as organic as possible.

What are the most common eggplant pests?

Worms, leafminers and aphids are just some of the most common pests you will have to deal with when growing eggplants.

Hence, make sure to get some information on how to get rid of those annoying companions in your garden.

How to protect eggplants against pests?

Feel free to check out my pest prevention guides if you want to know how to control eggplant pests and diseases and also how to get rid of garden pests in a proper manner.

Growing Difficulty

Are eggplants good plants to grow for children?

Growing eggplants is not that easy and it will also take you quite a long time to do so.

Hence, your children may get impatient and may lose interest in your gardening project rather soon.

Thus, you may want to grow carrots or other plants instead of eggplants with your kids to see results quicker.

Are eggplants good plants for a school project?

Growing eggplants as a school project can be quite interesting.

However, since eggplants will take many months to grow from seed to harvest, school kids may not be able to see the fruits of their labor in time and you may therefore want to grow plants with them that are faster to grow.

Is growing eggplants difficult?

It can be quite demanding to grow eggplants in a proper manner.

However, even beginners can still get decent results and if you are new to gardening, you should not be intimidated by growing eggplants.

Just make sure to read all the information in this article properly to avoid any mistakes.

Harvest

What color do ripe eggplants have?

While most ripe eggplant varieties have a deep purple or black color once they are ready to harvest, there are also eggplant varieties that stay green or reach other more exotic colors.

Hence, you should harvest eggplants once they reach the size and the color you expect from the respective eggplant variety.

Can you save seeds from eggplants?

You can also just save eggplant seeds by cutting eggplants in halves and extracting the seeds out of them.

After that, just dry those seeds and you will have more than enough seeds for many growing projects yet to come.

Can eggplants get overripe?

Yes, eggplants can get overripe and may even rot if you don’t harvest them in time.

Consequently, make sure to harvest your eggplants in an optimal manner so that you can enjoy a maximum of nutrients and flavor.

What parts of an eggplant can you eat?

While you can eat eggplant crops, eggplant leaves are not edible.

In fact, they are toxic and may cause serious health issues.

Hence, make sure to dispose of the plant material and only eat the fruits of your eggplants.

Additional Questions

Is growing eggplants expensive?

Growing eggplants is not expensive at all. In fact, you will just need some pots, some soil and some seeds and you will be good to go.

If you have a garden, you may not even have to spend any money on pots but can rather grow eggplants in your garden instead.

As you can see, upfront costs for growing eggplants are pretty limited and almost everyone will be able to afford growing eggplants from a financial perspective.

Is growing eggplants fun?

Growing eggplants is really interesting and can also be a lot of fun since your plants will grow rather quickly and you will see some progress every day.

Sitting in your garden next to your plants can also help you relax from your stressful daily life.

Do eggplants grow on trees?

No, eggplants don’t grow on trees. Instead, they grow on big plants above the ground.

If you haven’t seen how eggplants grow before, you should check out one of the videos in this article to learn more about the appearance and how to identify eggplants.

Do eggplants grow from flowers?

Yes, eggplants grow from flowers and no flowers on your plants therefore also means that you will not have to expect any yields.

How many eggplants should you grow per pot?

Since eggplants grow quite big, I recommend you only grow one eggplant per pot so that your plants don’t have to compete for nutrients and sunlight with each other and can therefore grow in a decent manner.

Which animals feed on eggplants?

Groundhogs, rabbis and mice are just some of the most common animals that will often try to feed on eggplants.

You will also have to keep away a variety of different pests and harmful insects.

Will your pets eat your eggplants?

Your pets may try to feed on eggplants and this will neither be good for your plants nor for your pets and you should therefore make sure to install fences or other measures to keep away your pets from your plants.

Are eggplants toxic for pets?

Yes, potato plants can be toxic for pets and you should therefore make sure to separate your pets from your plants to avoid any issues in this regard.

Why eggplants grow small?

If eggplants grow small, it usually has to do with a lack of nutrients.

Hence, make sure to use more fertilizer for future growing years to improve the growth behavior as well as the yields of your plants.

Moreover, you may also have chosen the wrong location for your plants and if your plants don’t get enough space and sunlight, this can be another reason why eggplants grow small.

Consequently, also make sure to improve growing conditions in this regard if your eggplants grow small right now and you want to get better yields in future years.

What to grow with eggplant?

You should also check out my article that shows you the best eggplant companion plants if you want to know what to grow with eggplants and what plants you should never plant with eggplants.

Can you grow eggplants from eggplants?

While it is possible to grow eggplants from a whole eggplant that you just put in the soil, it would just be a waste of food and you should rather use eggplant seeds instead of using whole fruits for growing purposes.

Can you grow eggplants from eggplant slices?

You could also try to grow eggplants from slices.

However, make sure that there are some seeds attached to those slices before putting them into the soil since you would just not get any seedlings otherwise.

Can you grow eggplants without seeds?

Instead of using eggplant seeds, you could also just get some seedlings from the garden center and you will also be able to grow eggplants much faster due to that.

Do you have to pollinate eggplants by hand?

While it is not urgently necessary to pollinate eggplants by hand, you can still do so to increase your yields.

Just use a cotton bud and place it into the flowers of your eggplants to distribute the pollen from one plant to the other and you will be good to go.

How to grow big eggplants?

To maximize eggplant yields, you just have to optimize overall growing conditions.

Apart from providing an excellent spot in your garden, you should also make sure that your plants get enough space and nutrients to grow well.

Moreover, also optimize your watering schedule to optimize the growth and the yields of your eggplants even further.

Can you grow eggplants commercially?

Growing eggplants commercially would be pretty difficult since there is serious price pressure in the farming industry and this means that you would have to compete with big corporations.

Moreover, you would also have to spend significant amounts of money on machines and land and you would most likely not see any returns on your investment.

Hence, instead of growing eggplants commercially, I recommend you just do it for fun.

Can you grow eggplants from fresh seeds?

Growing eggplants from fresh seeds is perfectly fine.

You just have to get an eggplant from the grocery store and extract seeds which you can just plant into the ground and wait until the first seedlings will reach the soil surface.

Can you grow eggplants from dried seeds?

You can also grow eggplants from dried seeds.

However, germination rates are often lower compared to using fresh seeds and you should therefore make sure to plant enough dried seeds to get a sufficient number of eggplant seedlings.

Can you grow eggplants from rotten fruits?

You could also grow eggplants from eggplants that are overripe and are no longer suitable for consumption.

Just put those eggplants into the soil and wait until they decay and seedlings will grow.

Can you grow eggplants from cuttings?

You could also try to grow eggplants from cuttings.

However, this is much more complicated than growing eggplants from seed and I therefore recommend you just rely on seeds instead of producing your own cuttings, especially if you are new to growing eggplants and don’t have lots of experience in this regard.

Should you use an eggplant growing kit for growing eggplants?

You could also use an eggplant growing kit to grow eggplants.

However, this is often a waste of money in my experience and you should therefore rather just get some eggplant seeds and go from there.

Do eggplants grow in the wild?

While some eggplant varieties grow in the wild, those species will often not produce delicious fruits and you may not even recognize them as eggplants since they just look quite different compared to what you know from the store or from the garden center.

How to get rid of moss when growing eggplants?

If you spot moss on the soil where you grow eggplants, it is usually a sign that you should water your plants less often.

Just let the soil dry up for a few days and the moss should be gone pretty soon.

Should you talk to your eggplants?

While some people claim that you should talk to eggplants to improve their growth, I personally don’t believe in it and you will for sure be far better off by using your time on more important things instead.

Should you plant eggplants at half moon or full moon?

It also doesn’t matter in which moon phase you plant eggplant seeds.

Just do what’s best for your schedule and you will be able to grow eggplants equally well at either full moon, half moon or new moon.

Now that you hopefully found the information you were looking for, you may also want to check out my eggplant grower’s guide where I show you how to grow eggplants from seed to harvest step-by-step.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant

Own research and experience

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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