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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

12 Apr 18, Jonathan Manglinong (Australia - temperate climate)
Im planning to plant chokos this month of april which is Autumn period. Do you think Sydney Area is ok to plant at now? Where the temparature is in between 15-30 degrees.
13 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you looked up choko in the temperate zone on this website - is says plant DEC. The purpose of this website is that you work out your climate zone and then look in the vegetables and herbs section and read up about growing a crop.
11 Apr 18, Nancy (Australia - temperate climate)
Chokoes have plenty of flowers but no fruit developing
12 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Pollinates by wind or bees. Are they male and female or just male flowers.
17 Mar 18, kathleen ingram (Australia - temperate climate)
Questioun Trying to grow a choko i live in cooma nsw can i grow it in a hot house (green house ) could u tell me when it will start flowering please any help would be gratefull thank u
18 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It says plant in warm climates. Plant in temperate zone in Dec. I think it maybe too late to plant now. If it has a sprout plant it.
10 Feb 18, Suzanne R White (Australia - temperate climate)
Wondering why the leaves of my growing choko are yellowing. Overwatering or under watering.? Maybe mineral deficiency.
12 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Consider how fertile your soil is. Add some fertiliser (N). You should know if you are over watering. Big plants water each couple of days depending on the temp. Put some trace elements on - Bunnings $10.
07 Feb 18, Brett (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in the Mallee I'd love to grow these , but it gets in the high 30-40 here in summer what the best I can do . I should be able to plant early if they can take a bit of frost
07 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
It says to plant in December in the temperate zone, so you are about 5 weeks late. If you have a choko that is shooting, plant it.
Showing 1 - 10 of 145 comments

Stop putting the scraps there. Probably too much N. Leaf growth and little fruit. When it flowers cut out the N and give it some K. Consider pulling out the passion fruit also. Or transplant it some where else.

- Mike

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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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