Growing Choko/Chayote, also Chayote squash, christophene, chouchou, mirliton

Sechium edule : Cucurbitaceae / the gourd family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Easy to grow. Plant whole mature fruit when one produces a shoot at one end.. Best planted at soil temperatures between 59°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 39 inches apart
  • Harvest in 17-25 weeks. Best when fruit is light green and not more than 6 cm long.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers
  • Choko (cayote) on vine

Choko is only suitable for warmer climates but frequent hot nights will slow flowering. Fruit production is highest when night temperatures range from 59 - 68 F (15 - 20 C). Plant in a warm, unused corner of the garden. Leave the shoot sticking out of the ground and it will take off. Choko needs a long growing season, about 4 - 6 months but in that time it will spread and can be useful to cover old sheds or fences!

An average household would need one or two plants.

Leaves rather like cucumber and some prickles on the fruit. Some variation in fruit, with lighter green and few prickles depending on variety. The differences seem to be between countries eg. USA, Australia, Malta.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Choko/Chayote

Chokos can be peeled and chopped to use in stews, soup or as a stir fry vegetable.
Cooked or raw, it has a very mild flavour and is commonly served with seasonings eg. salt, butter and pepper or in a dish with other vegetables and/or flavourings. It can also be boiled, stuffed, mashed or pickled.

Your comments and tips

26 Jul 10, Gracie Camilleri (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Have a choko that has a shoot. Would like to know how to plant it. Shoot up? or do I bury the whole choko? Await your advise.
26 Jul 10, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The info about planting is on the choko page. Click on the Vegetables and Herbs tab and then click on Choko .
28 Sep 10, Kolwin (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Do not bury it whole...leave the shoot up. ensure the base of the shoot is touching some soil at least
28 Sep 10, m.evans (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Canberra and would love to grow a choko vine, can yougive me some clues
03 Dec 10, Howard mcKinnon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I want to know where to plant a Choko after all the information on your site and other sites no where does it say if it is planted in sun, shade part shade etc.
05 Dec 10, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We've had lots of choko vines over the years, running along the fenceline in full sun.
04 Dec 10, Annie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Chokos - Hi Howard. When I was a young girl in Sydney/Newcastle area we lived on Chokos. They would grow over sheds, fences etc. so I assume that they would tolerate part shade in your area. I have planted (just for experiment) 4 sprouting chokos in Hobart, Tas. but have put them in full sun against a warm brick wall. They have grown about 1 metre so far. Regards Annie
17 Jan 12, michael (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
i was just wondering how you went with the growing of chokos in the Hobart area, as i live here and would like to grow some as we can not find a green grocer that sells them . they all say that they have had them in the past but no longer . We have been told by nutritionist that they would be good for our daughter who has so many in-tolerances it isn't funny. Any help would be great
09 Apr 12, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
if anyone wants awesome green Choko to grow just email me and will send you a sprouter for free (you pay postage) [email protected] use choko as subject line
17 Oct 15, A Nelson (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I am attempting to get a food forest going in my back garden up in the Tamar Valley area. It is relatively protected from winds by big trees and good sun. I really like chokos and am interested in growing them...are you still sending out sprouted seeds? By any chance would you know where I might find cold tolerant lady finger bananas, ichigo or hokowase strawberries and cranberries? Would love to give these a try. Thanks for your help! Cheers
Showing 1 - 10 of 267 comments

Hi Can anyone give me a recipe for choko pie as a desert. I have chokos growing madly on my vine and i am trying to think of different way to cook these great veges. Thanks Trudy


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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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