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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 is only suitable for warmer climates but frequent hot nights will slow flowering. Fruit production is highest when night temperatures range from 59-68F (15-20C). 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 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

21 Dec 18, Karen M. (USA - Zone 5b climate)
I read about this vegetable/ fruit on another website and was wondering how I can find it to grow here in NE Indiana.
13 Nov 18, Bill (Australia - temperate climate)
New choko plant growing well,lower leaves are good but new leaves are curling on the outer edge. Can you advise, thanks
15 Nov 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
A big guess - could be the hot weather. Check in the morning and see if it like this when it is cool.
22 Nov 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It could be some curly leaf virus also.
14 Oct 18, Rick (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I live in Bundaberg and have a choko vine that was planted in the summer, during the winter we had so much good looking fruit we gave it away to our friends. We find our fruit is now growing deformed, we have cut back new growth to stop the vine from taking over the garden, it is very healthy, we have some ants around and what garden hasn't !! could you enlighten me as to what could be causing the deformity ?
15 Oct 18, Mike Logan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live coral cove. Hard to tell without looking at it. Maybe trace element deficient, some bug, disease ???? I'd suggest you may be better pulling it out and plant another one. Probably in a different position.
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!
Showing 1 - 10 of 166 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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