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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 15°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 100 cm 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

16 Nov 17, Alice (Australia - temperate climate)
Where can you get choko from to plant
20 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Buy one and keep it inside - when it starts spouting time to plant in the garden.
05 Nov 17, John Avery (Australia - tropical climate)
I am planting a choko and was wondering what fertiliser to use when planting it?
06 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Don't fertiliser when you plant. Either mix the fertiliser in a few weeks before you plant or wait until after the plants have grown a bit before fertilizing. Just a normal veggie growing fertiliser. 10-12 N, 3-4-5 P, 10-14K.
02 Nov 17, Lianne van coller (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where in South Africa can i purchase a vine
01 Nov 17, Tony (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi ,we have a large choko vine growing on a trellis with a passion fruit vine .The plant gets covered in flowers but very little fruit It has only produced about 6 small deformed fruit so far.The plant is arround 1 year old in well drained soil that gets plenty of kitchen scraps for mulch as well as getting a dose of bokashi now and then.Is there a particular fertalizer to use to set fruit on the plant.I welcome your ideas to help. tHANKS,tONY..
03 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
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.
26 Aug 17, Cathie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
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
28 Aug 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The notes here say plant Oct-Nov. Maybe yours is a bit out of season. We have had a very mild Winter. Don't go too hard with the potash - maybe only put potash on when it has flowered and fruit has set. Google about growing it - it needs warm weather to grow.
28 Aug 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
Despite your vine having flowers, how old is it? On this site, it states that chokoes need a long growing season of 4 to 6 months.
Showing 1 - 10 of 133 comments

We are now growing chouchou in a temporary greenhouse in Bexley in Kent. It came from the stone of the fruit and is growing like crazy with a bit of fleece netting over it to keep it warm. The fruit makes a fantastic juice esepcially when mixed with a smidge of orange juice. The juice is used in Brazil as a natural remedy to help lower blood pressure. It sure does seem to work.

- Mike n Lucy

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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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