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

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 approximately 17 weeks. Best when fruit is light green and not more than 6cm long.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers
  • Choko (cayote) on vine
    Choko (cayote) on vine

Choko is only suitable for warmer climates. But frequent hot nights will slow flowering. Fruit production is highest when nightime 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. It needs a long growing season, about 4 - 6 months. But in that time it will spread itself a lot 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 e.g., 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

08 Jul 18, Narelle (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in the mid Blue Mountains and bought a couple of chokos a week or so ago and they are beginning to sprout. It's a bit cool outside at the moment and I was thinking of planting them in a pot until it warms up a bit. Would that be okay or would it be detrimental to the vines, to replant outside? I was also under the impression that you had to plant two vines for them to fruit is this the case?
13 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
It does say plant a vine or two - so sounds like you only need one. It says plant in Dec so yours is way out of season. Let it keep sprouting for awhile. Probably the less it grows now the better. In a pot it might grow quicker. Good luck.
12 Jul 18, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Potting them up and keeping them inside until the spring is a good way to go. Wait until all danger of frosts had passed. You only need one plant to produce fruit. The frost will knock it around next winter but you could heavily mulch the vine and it will re-sprout in the spring.
28 Jun 18, Peter (Australia - temperate climate)
We had an enormous Choko growing at the back of our chook shed when I was a kid. Mum pressure cooked small ones whole, slash in half, dab of butter, yum! We sold big ones off front verge 2 for a trey bit (threepenny coin). Found out later Choko was used a lot in apple pie, since it would bulk up the filling without imparting any flavours of its own. Saw an old one in Green Grocers, must revitalise the heritige!
13 Jun 18, Phil (Australia - temperate climate)
My chokos started flowering much later this season than last year. It was unusually in that I had lots of female flowers developing before any of the male flowers did so most of my early chokos never were pollinated. Bees did not arrive either until three to four weeks ago and they are still all over the plant. I've got lots of baby chokos, but will they get the chance to develop this late in the season in Adelaide's northern suburbs with day temps of 15'C or less and night time temps getting down to 6'C and lower by the day?
14 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
Nature is a strange thing. You will just have to see what happens. Last year here winter didn't really come until August - this year early June.
14 Jul 18, Phil (Australia - temperate climate)
Surprisingly the plants are still strong over most of them, with the larger chokos continuing to grow, although certainly slower than six or eight weeks ago and many with imperfections over their outer layer. Once they get to the size of an egg they do grow much faster although many of the tiny ones that did get a start have got to around two cm long and dropped. So far we've only had two nights that hit dead on 0'C so if frosty nights can be avoided it looks like they will keep going. The first night that does have a bad frost and I'll be stripping the two plants of all chokos whatever the size.
28 May 18, Chris braid (Australia - temperate climate)
Where do I buy a choko plant in Melbourne?
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
Normally you buy a choko and leave it in your pantry or window sill - when it starts to sprout/shoot and grow a vine then you plant it. In Melbourne that is December.
30 May 18, ME- Rachel McCracken (Australia - temperate climate)
You can just buy a choko, sit it in the laundry (or somewhere, on top of a cupboard worked for me) till it sprouts, then plant. You’re going to really struggle though, buddy. The best luck I had was when I bought a choko at a Farmer’s market in SEYMOUR from a grower around Ardmona. They were better acclimatised. It takes two years to start cropping. Best of luck!
Showing 1 - 10 of 160 comments

My choko vine is healthy and gets flowers no fruit forms we have native bees live between Yeppoon and Rockhampton given potash, composted manure is it lacking something and what Ph they like

- Cathie

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