Hanging pitcher plant care

Hanging Pitcher Plant Care: Types Of Pitcher Plants For Hanging Baskets

Pitcher plants are a fantastic addition to the home. They’re a little bit temperamental, but if you’re willing to put in the extra work, you’ll have a striking conversation piece. Keep reading to learn about good pitcher plants for hanging baskets.

Hanging Pitcher Plant Care

Hanging pitcher plants in baskets is the most effective way to grow them. In the wild, the plants vine up trees, and providing them with plenty of empty space will give them the air circulation they crave and allow the pitchers to grow to their full and most impressive extent.

Hanging pitcher plants thrive in light, well-draining soil that’s poor in nutrients but high in organic matter. This can be sphagnum moss, coconut fiber, or a store-bought orchid mix.

Pitcher plants need high humidity – water frequently from above, and mist daily. Hang your basket somewhere it can receive full sun. Temperature is very important. Most species require daytime temperatures of 80 F. (26 C.) and higher, with a very marked temperature drop at night.

Pitcher Plants for Hanging Baskets

Pitcher plants are native to Southeast Asia and northern Australia and, for the most part, crave high temperatures and humid air. Many varieties, however, grow at high elevations and are used to much cooler temperatures. Pitcher plants cross pollinate very easily and, as such, there are a huge number of varieties and quite a few that are able to tolerate low temperatures.

  • Nepenthes khasiana is a species that’s a good choice for beginners. It’s extremely hardy as pitcher plants go, with a tolerance range of 38-105 F. (3-40 C.).
  • Nepenthes stenophylla can tolerate a narrower but still wide range of temperatures from 50-98 F. (10-36 C.).

If you live in a hot area or have a greenhouse, however, your options are much greater.

  • Nepenthes alata is easy to care for and forms bright red pitchers that can reach 7 inches (8 cm) in length.
  • Nepenthes eymae produces wide, red speckled pitchers low on the plant and small green pitchers higher up, making for a nice, diverse look.

The number of species is enormous, however, so first get a sense of your area’s temperature range, and then look into what’s available.

Welcome to Etsy!

If you live where the current temps. are below 50 degrees please add a heat pack so your plant will arrive safely.
New Alata crop ready, pics taken 12/11
Nepenthes Alata is very common and therefore is an easy carnivorous plant to grow. A great plant for someone just beginning into the world of carnivorous plants. It is native to the Philippines and produces multiple 4-6 inch red and green pitchers at the end of it’s long slender leaves. Your plant will be well hardened off for growing outside in warmer climates. Can also be grown indoors on a bright windowsill. Temperature range from 60℉ nighttime to 80℉ during the day.
The plants in the pictures are representative of the ones that you will receive, they are in 6 inch hanging baskets. Plants will be between 3 and 6 inches across and are well established with multiple pitchers.
They do very well in hanging baskets where the pitchers are able to cascade down and show off their real beauty and unique character. All our plants have been grown from tissue culture and are virus free. Carnivorous plants attract insects by emitting a sweet odor that bugs can’t resist, once drawn to the pitcher they fall inside and there’s no escape. The plants natural enzymes will begin to break down the insect and will then be drawn up into the plant as food. This is all the fertilizer they will need to survive and stay healthy.
Nepenthes pitcher plants are a beautiful addition to your carnivorous plant collection.
Care Instructions: Keep the soil damp at all times but not sopping wet. Add distilled or rain water from the top only when the moss starts to dry, do not allow it to sit in water. They prefer bright light and do best outdoors in a screen room or covered area, misting daily if possible and they love the rain. If your Nepenthes is not producing pitchers it probably needs either more light or more moisture. Growing and care instructions will be provided with your purchase.
Shipping Information: Plants will be shipped on Mondays,Tuesdays and Friday to allow enough time for the U.S.P.S. to deliver your plants within 3 days. We reserve the right to suspend shipping due to inclement weather or cold temperatures that may damage or kill your plants.
You will receive tracking info. once your plants have left our facility and on their way to you.
If there are any issues please contact us at info carnivoreplants.com
Thank you for your purchase.

Miranda Velvet Pitcher Plant – Nepenthes – Carnivorous – HUGE -8″ Hanging Basket

CARNIVOROUS PLANTS: Carnivorous plants have the most bizarre adaptations to low-nutrient environments. These plants obtain some nutrients by trapping and digesting various invertebrates. Because insects are one of the most common prey items for most carnivorous plants, they are sometimes called insectivorous plants. It is not surprising that the most common habitat for these plants is in bogs and fens, where nutrient concentrations are low but water and sunshine seasonally abundant. As many as thirteen species of carnivorous plants have been found in a single bog (Folkerts, 1982). Most plants absorb nitrogen from the soil through their roots. But carnivorous plants absorb nitrogen from their animal prey through their leaves specially modified as traps.Nepenthes x ‘Miranda’ – Miranda Pitcher PlantThe plant you will receive is growing in an 8 inch Hanging Basket and is huge! The leaves are over 12 inches long and the pitchers are over 6 inches high!. It is very similar to the one pictured. One of the best and easiest species to start with, this plant produces pink/red traps with a narrow ‘waist’ and is exceptionally easy to grow. Nepenthes are commonly known as pitcher plants or monkey cups as the tips of some leaves form jug like structures which hold a digestive liquid ready for the unsuspecting prey to fall in to. You can recreate their natural habitat in a variety of ways including greenhouse growing, Florida Room, and large terrariums which look magnificent in the home – and are quite a talking point! They can even be grown in a north or east window! Temperature: The Nepenthes come from high up in the hills surrounding perhaps jungles or other similar terrain. They can tolerate temperatures of 54 degrees F. to 95 degrees F. They won’t be harmed by increasing the heat but they won’t like it if it’s kept too low and growth will eventually stop. Humidity:They require a medium humidity of around 50% – 70% as this is what they would normally get in their native environment, remember the highlander’s are subject to light breezes where the moisture in the air is constantly being blown away. You can obtain this humidity by wetting the staging or paths if greenhouse grown or keeping a tray of water in the terrarium or under the pot. Misting is also a good idea, use clean fresh water with no additives.Grow these plants in a light position but out of direct sunlight otherwise the leaves and pitchers may scorch. If grown next to a window some shading must be provided such as net curtains or if in the greenhouse apply some whitewash to the glass. Compost & Watering: They prefer a fairly open mixture of compost which should consist of 40% medium bark chippings, 30% peat, 20% roughly chopped sphagnum moss and 10% charcoal. The charcoal will help keep the compost ‘sweet’ and the remainder will provide good drainage as well as offering good moisture retention. These plants like plenty of water and should never be allowed to dry our, they also require good drainage and this is provided by the charcoal and bark chippings. They will not tolerate boggy, wet compost. Feed these plants once a month from May till October with 1/8th strength general purpose fertilizer and flush the pots with fresh water every 6 weeks to remove unused food and to avoid a build up of salts. Miranda Velvet Pitcher Plant – Nepenthes – Carnivorous – HUGE -8″ Hanging Basket

The “Pitcher Plant” Nepenthes is perfect for those with green thumbs.

Nepenthes tends to be a bit of a challenge to grow. It’s a carnivorous plant type with a unique look requiring special care.

The strange “pitchers” growing on the ends of Nepenthes leaves gives the plant its common name of “pitcher plant.”

Nepenthes are also called “Monkey Cups.” The name reportedly comes from monkeys who occasionally drink the fluid in the pitchers.

These growths design helps trap and digest food to keep the plant fed.

There are over 70 species of Nepenthes plants (23 lowlands, 48 cool highlands). They are native to parts of the Philippines, northern Australia, and Malaysia.

Related: How To Care For A Venus Fly Trap

Monkey cup plants make wonderful hanging baskets and conversation starters. Below are some growing tips to care for this unusual plant.

Nepenthes Pitcher Plant Care

How Big Do Nepenthes Grow?

The tropical Pitcher Plant is a climbing plant and sometimes semi-shrubby. But, most people grow them as hanging plants. This allows the unique leaves to dangle.

The stems often reach up to 16″ inches and are slow growers. You may wonder whether your plant will produce the pitcher leaves. In some cases, the leaves may never show up.

Does Nepenthes Flower or Have A Fragrance?

The carnivorous plant rarely flowers during cultivation.

When these plants do flower, the flower clusters are on stems separate from the leaves with the pitcher lobes.

The flowers have no fragrance and vary in color.

What Kind Of Lighting Do Pitcher Plants Need?

Don’t place plants of Nepenthes in direct sunlight. The intense light can damage the leaves and cause the plant to dry out.

If possible, look for a shady spot and keep the plant in warm conditions.

During the summer, the recommended temperature range is 70° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit.

In the winter, keep the tropical pitcher Nepenthes at 70° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature range doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. This is one of the reasons why these plants are difficult to care for.

TIP: Growing as a bathroom plant Nepenthes will enjoy the humidity and stable temperature. Plants may need additional lighting in bathrooms.

Watering and Feeding These Carnivorous Plants

DO NOT FERTILIZE with this plant. Stick to water.

Water the carnivorous plants often to prevent the soil from drying out. Mist almost daily, especially during the warmer months.

Humidity is essential to the health of these plants. If it dries out, it will die.

What “Type of Soil” Does Nepenthes Grow In?

Many growers use several inches of moist sphagnum moss, or peat moss to plant carnivorous Nepenthes.

The sphagnum and peat moss hold water, insuring the roots don’t dry out.

Never transplant unless it’s necessary. The plant is unlikely to survive the process.

What Maintenance Or Grooming Does Nepenthes Plants Need?

Nepenthes need no major grooming. But, if you see withered leaves or pitchers, trim them off so that new ones can grow.

How To Propagate The Pitcher Plant

Propagate Nepenthes from either seeds or cuttings.

How To Start Plants From Seed

Seeds of pitcher plants start easily on a bed of sphagnum moss. To start seeds you’ll need:

  • Nepenthes seed
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Sterile water
  • Gallon-size glass jar with lid

Follow these steps:

  • Sterilize the jar including the bed of moss in a 200° degree Fahrenheit oven.
  • Remoisten the moss with sterilized water
  • Sprinkle the pitcher plant seeds onto the moss
  • Cover the jar lid (or small sheet of glass)
  • Keep the jar where there is light
  • Maintain temperature at 70° to 90° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Maintain until the seedlings are ready to pot

Propagation By Cuttings

Propagation is possible using cuttings, sphagnum moss and plastic bags. Follow these steps.

  • Take 6″ inch cuttings in the early spring
  • Put several inches of moist sphagnum moss in the bottom of the plastic bag.
  • Push the end of the cuttings into the moss
  • Close the top tightly
  • Place the sealed bag in a place with light but NOT direct sun.
  • Pot when roots are visible

Keep in mind successful propagation comes with time.

This finicky plant is a challenge to grow, especially when growing from a cutting.

Nepenthes Pests or Disease Problems

You shouldn’t experience any pest problems with the pitcher plant. In fact, pests should watch out for this carnivorous plant.

The pitcher leaves trap and digest insects. Each pitcher contains about a 1/2″ to 1″ inch layer of digestive juices.

Insects that fall into the “pitcher” drown. The digestive juices dissolve and break down the insect into proteins.

These proteins are then absorbed by the plant.

While you don’t need to worry about insects, you may need to worry about various health issues.

Plants can suffer from weak growth and yellowed leaves. This is often the result of excess moisture or low temperatures.

If the plant looks weak, increase the temperature and ensure that you’re misting it daily.

TIP: Consider using purified water instead of tap water. The tap water may contain nutrients that can harm the plant.

If you notice the plant is no longer growing new leaves or pitchers, you may be overfeeding. Avoid watering for several weeks. Starving it may help the new pitchers grow.

NOTE: If plants are overfed, it doesn’t have a need to produce new pitchers. The pitchers are used for capturing and digesting captured prey (insects).

Continue to mist the plant regularly during this period.

Suggested “Starter Carnivorous Pitchers” For Beginners

You’ll find many types of pitcher plants. The beginner should start with the recommended varieties below:

Nepenthes alata – native to the Philippines. Many bright green pitchers.

Nepenthes khasiana – Hindu Kush Mountains, endangered. Good, long green pitchers. Only pitcher plant species native to India.

Nepenthes ventricosa – Philippines. Flourishes under cool, moist treatment.

Nepenthes rajah – Colorful greenish-red to reddish purple pitchers with a large umbrella. Does well in “fern-like atmosphere.”

Nepenthes rafflesiana – Malacca, Borneo and Sumatra, wide distribution. Interesting and colorful pitchers, variable. One of the best.

Nepenthes gracilis – Malaysia. Easy to grow. Most abundant species. Small green pitchers.

Growing Tips for Nepenthes

Tropical Pitcher Plant – Nepenthes spp.

The Tropical Pitcher Plants, Nepenthes spp. are native to Southeast Asia including Borneo, Sumatra, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, and northern Australia. They are divided into two distinct groups: the Highland and the Lowland species. Highland species grow on the cool mountainsides and tops. The lowland species grow in the warm foothills and coastal areas. The soil tends to be low in nutrients and high in organic matter. Most grow in acidic soils, though some can be found growing in sand and/or alkaline conditions. Lowland species grow in typical day temperature ranges from 85-95+°F (30-34°C) with nightly cooling into the low 70s°F (18°C). Highland species grow in typical daytime temperatures between 75-85+°F (25-30°C) and night temperatures of low 60s°F (18°C).
All Nepenthes grow best in continuously warm, humid, and bright conditions. Choose a variety that best matches your growing conditions. Highland species will tolerate cool winters. Lowland species like it hot, humid and bright year round. Heated greenhouses and terrariums can provided an excellent home habitat. Young plants can grow very slowly, even seem to sleep for years, and then grow vigorously. Others take off right away.
Tropical Pitchers Plants can be challenging Carnivorous Plants to grow because of their need for consistently bright, humid and warm conditions. This often requires a greenhouse for sustained culture. Tropical Pitcher Plants prefer good air circulation and a light, well-drained, porous soil. A soil mix of peat, sand, perlite, orchid bark, and chopped Sphagnum works well. Pure live sphagnum moss or “orchid mix” is a good soil alternative. Nepenthes are tolerant of a variety of soil mixes. Keep the soil evenly moist and well drained. Water with mineral-free water from overhead. Mature Nepenthes prefer a hanging pot, basket or plant stand. They like bright, full sun and high humidity. Lowland species prefer hot days and warm nights, and highland species prefer warm days and cooler nights. A day/night temperature difference of 15°F (8°C) is recommended. A misting system is beneficial. Browning of traps or traps not forming is usually a sign of humidity that is too low. This can be remedied by growing in a large clear, vented plastic bag while new pitchers form, and removed once traps are mature. Mature Nepenthes are climbing vines and growing accommodations should provide for this.
They like consistently moist, but draining soil. Water the soil, not the traps, though keeping a small amount,1/2″ (1cm) of water in the trap will help it through hot, dry spells. One convenient way to water the whole plant, is to lower the pot into a bucket of water and let it thoroughly soak. Though they prefer mineral free water, they can tolerate occasional tap water more than other Carnivorous Plants. High humidity and good ventilation are important, even in a terrarium. If your conditions are a bit dry, consider frequent misting. Repot with fresh soil mix every few years.
Tropical Pitchers Plants do not require dormancy. They prefer warm, humid winter conditions. Slow growth during the winter months is typical.
Nepenthes can be propagated from cuttings, that can root in water, or air layering of stems. Seeds are slow and need steady conditons. Tissue Culture works well for clones.
Tropical Pitcher Plants are avid feeders. Provided with natural access to insects they will “feed” themselves. They love stink bugs. Even indoors they will attract and capture an occasional fly or other insect. Do not feed them meat or cheese. This will likely rot and kill the trap. If feeding is desired, drop in a few freeze dried bloodworms, dead crickets, wasps or similar insects. Fertilization is not necessary, however an occasional, summer application of orchid food, diluted 10%, will benefit growth. Nepenthes respond well to foliar fertilization. Spray twice a month during the growing season with a dilute (10%) orchid fertilizer.
Other Considerations
Nepenthes plants are either male or female and the flowers can have an unusual fragrance. Unless seeds are desired and one each sex is available, consider removing any flower spikes, as they will draw energy from the plant.
Nepenthes require high humidity. Traps will not form properly, abort, or die back in low humidity. It’s not a bad idea to add a small amount of water to each pitcher when you receive the plant, to keep it hydrated until it begins new growth.
Consider placing the plants outside, hanging under a tree in the summer. They will benefit from the bright light and insect laden environment. Keep an eye on the humidity. Frequently misting may be necessary.
Nepenthes are slow growers during their first few years, and can take 5 to 10 years to mature. Once established, they will begin to vine and grow rapidly. At this stage traps stems will loop around and cling to any available support. Be sure to provide ample support for the plants during this vine-growing stage. Flowers occur on the tips of the growing vines. The pitchers on the young plants near the plant base usually have a slightly different shape and coloration than the traps on the upper vines. The upper vines can be cut off and used to start new plants. New growth will emerge from the remaining plant base.
Nepenthes, like most carnivorous plants, benefit from repotting in fresh carnivorous plant soil every few years.

Monkey Cups Care Instructions

Monkey Cups (Nepenthes)

The Asian Pitcher Plant, or Tropical Pitcher Plant or Nepenthes, can be found in its natural habitat in the tropical regions of Asia – mainly Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and New Guinea. The name Monkey Cups comes from monkeys occasionally drinking the fluid found in the pitchers.

The pitcher is actually a swelling of the mid-vein in the leaf. Insects are attracted to these pitchers due to nectar secretions and colouration of the pitcher. Once the insect falls into the pitcher, they are digested by the fluid at the bottom of the trap.

There are two groups of Nepenthes: Lowland and highland. Knowing which group your plant falls into will help you better recreate its natural environment in the home. Lowland species often require warmer temperatures at night, while the highland type prefers cooler. Pay attention to how the plant responds to its environment and make changes accordingly. If the plant produces smaller leaves and grows much slower, then your highland Nepenthes is being exposed to too much warmth at night. If the plant grows slowly and brown spots appear on the leaves then your lowland Nepenthes is not getting enough warmth at night.

The amount of light and sun needed for Nepenthes will vary depending on which type they are. Some, found in upper canopies in the wild, require a lot of sun to maintain their unique pitchers, so should be grown in a location where they can receive at least 4 hours of direct sun each day with very bright filtered sun in the remaining daylight hours. The second type, which is found in lower canopies in the wild, only need bright filtered sunlight throughout the day. Regardless of the species, avoid full shade!

Nepenthes are slow growers during their first few years and can take 5-10 years to mature. Once they are established, they will begin to vine and grow rapidly. At this stage stems will loop around and cling to any available support. Be sure to provide the necessary support during this stage of growth.

Developing pitchers usually create their own fluid so it is generally unnecessary to add water to them. However, exceptions can be made for species with reclining lids or if the contents of the pitcher have been accidentally spilled. Use rainwater when adding to the pitchers.

Common Symptoms

These are some of the common symptoms that Calatheas encounter with ways in which to address them:

  • Brown or yellow leaves: This is just the leaf getting old. Snip them off with a sharp garden shears or pair of scissors. This will keep the plant looking great and remove leaves that the plant no longer needs to support.
  • Floppy leavesare due to insufficient lighting. Asses the environment and make changes accordingly.
  • Failure to produce pitchers: Increase the humidity and ensure that the plant is receiving sufficient light.
  • Pitchers dying/dropping: Severely dehydrated Nepenthes may drop their pitchers suddenly. Ensure that the soil is always kept moist.
  • Withered or completely brown pitchers: Depending on the type, individual pitchers may last anywhere from 1-8 months. Pitchers that are deteriorating due to age will usually brown in their top half first and they can remain in this half withered state for several months. They are still beneficial for the plant and should only be trimmed off once they have completely browned.

Care Instructions

  • Origin: India and East Asia.
  • Height: Trailing stems can grow to 3m, depending on the type.
  • Light: Very bright light and direct sunlight is needed for these plants. Keep your Nepenthes in a sunny windowsill or somewhere where it will get a lot of very bright light.
  • Water: Keep the soil damp at all times, but avoid letting the plant sit in standing water. Make sure that the water drains through the soil completely.During the warmer months you may need to water the plants on a daily basis, while in winter once every 2-3 days. Keep tabs on the plant and adjust your watering as needed.
  • Humidity: Although Monkey Cup plant prefers a high humidity environment it can and will adapt to the humidity of an average household. But, if possible keep it humid!
  • Temperature: Most species prefer day time temperatures of 18-27°C, while at night they like to be a little cooler at 7-18°C. However some lowland Nepenthes prefer night temperatures above 21°C.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining, low in nutrients, high aeriation soil mix. A popular mix is 1 part dried sphagnum moss and 1 part perlite (or pumice). You can also use 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite and 1 part silica sand.
  • Feeding: There is no need to feed your Nepenthes at all as it has adapted to survive on a minuscule amount of nutrients gained from the few insects it digests each month. If you do decide to feed it, use recently killed insects that will fit comfortably in the pitchers. Avoid putting too many inside as it will cause the pitchers to rot. Don’t feed it during winter.

    You may prefer to spray your plant with a weak solution of fertilizer. Use a high quality orchid or bromeliad fertilizer. Use ¼ – ½ teaspoon of fertilizer to 3.5 litres of water. Mist your plant with this mixture weekly during spring and summer but only once a month or not at all in winter.

    With both fertilizing and feeding, remember that none is better than too much!

  • Repotting: For the robust Nepenthes you can repot it every couple of years. Change the soil, and if needed, use a larger pot. Repotting can be done anytime during the year.
  • Pruning: Since most Nepenthes are actually vines, pruning the green stems back will encourage side shoots and result in a fuller plant.
  • Propagation: Cuttings – Cuttings can be taken from the plant anytime of the year, however cuttings taken when the parent plant is actively growing seem to have a greater success rate. The best cut is one with an active growing tip of the stem and about 2 to 3 leaves on it, however, it is not essential to have a growing tip. Cut off the lowest leaf from the cutting and plant the stem vertically in damp Sphagnum moss. The lower node (the point where the leaf was growing before you removed it) should be underneath the potting mixture level. Place the pot for rooting in a plastic bag or propagating case in conditions of high humidity and moderate light. The cuttings will start root in one to two months and begin to form new pitchers in about six months. When new growth is visible it is a sign that rooting has occurred. Once the plants have rooted and started to grow, pot them up in a one size bigger container using standard potting mixture and put them in a terrarium (or partially opened plastic bag) to adapt the new plant to the lower humidity conditions.

If in stock, shop for Monkey Cups here.

Trimming Pitcher Plants: Guide To Pruning A Pitcher Plant

Pitcher plants are the type of carnivorous plant that sits and waits for bugs to fall into their pitcher traps. The tendril-shaped “pitchers” have a rim on the top that stops insects from climbing out once they get in. Generally, pitcher plants do not require much maintenance, but pruning a pitcher plant occasionally produces a more vigorous plant. Read on to learn how to prune a pitcher plant.

When to Prune Pitcher Plants

If you are wondering when to prune pitcher plants, understand that trimming pitcher plants is not a daily or weekly task. In fact, pitcher plants can go for a long time without requiring a pruning. Sometimes, however, pruning a pitcher plant will increase its vigor and create a fuller plant, and these are the pitcher plant pruning opportunities you want to take advantage of.

First, if your pitcher plant blooms, you should prune off the blossoms of a pitcher plant when they wilt, just as you deadhead other plants. This type of pitcher plant pruning is easy. You simply use a pair of garden scissors to cut off the stalk of the bloom at its base.

If your pitcher plant has yellow or brown foliage, that part of the plant is dead. Trimming a pitcher plant to remove dead foliage is not difficult. You simply snip off the dead leaf at the point where it meets the stem of the plant.

How to Prune a Pitcher Plant

If you are wondering how to prune a pitcher plant when only a part of a leaf is yellow, like the leaf tip, follow these instructions. Use the scissor to cut the foliage just below the yellow part so that only the green part is left on the plant. The partial leaf can still do its job absorbing sunlight for the plant.

If your pitcher plant has developed long foliage that looks untidy, pitcher plant pruning is in order. To tidy up messy plants, start trimming pitcher plants back with the scissors. Prune back each stem to a reasonable length. If the plant is old and uncared for, it will accept severe pruning. Pruning a pitcher plant encourages new growth to form.

If your pitcher plant is a tropical plant known as Nepenthes, or Monkey Cup, you may wonder about pitcher plant pruning for this species. Essentially, the instructions are the same. As pitchers and leaves die back naturally, trim them off to keep the plant vigorous. Prune back the green vine stems to encourage side shoots to grow.

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