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 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

01 Sep 21, Johnny Leech (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Will choko grow in a cold area in North Canterbury
07 Sep 21, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
No, they need warm weather by the look of it.
27 Apr 21, Betty (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
We plan to move within 6 months and I want my choko to come with us. How can I keep a choko fruit so I can plant it in our new garden? I have fruit now. Or what would you advise Thanks? Thanks.
28 Apr 21, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Best I can suggest is keep a few of the very last ones of this crop. Put them in the pantry. They could take a few months before they start to sprout. The new vine could grow a few feet long by the time you plant. Or say spring time plant them in a 9L bucket or tin etc and grow them there until plant out time.
22 Apr 21, Rowena Flood (Australia - temperate climate)
Does anyone have choko's growing in tasmania
29 Apr 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
Very unlikely unless they are in a temperate or subtropical climate.
05 Feb 21, Sue (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Would I be able to grow a choko in stanthorpe qld
10 Feb 21, Karen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
yes, but it will die off in Winter - just trim, leaving root in the ground, cover with straw, and it will shoot up again in spring
05 Feb 21, SHIRL (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi there, Can I plant a sprouted choko into a pot/ground in February in Sydney? If not how can keep this to be planted later. Thanks for any advice.
20 Feb 21, bushgirl (Australia - temperate climate)
If you have a warm corner, and can protect it from frost, you may be able to encourage it to grow for a couple of months. The idea is to help it mature enough to over-Winter and sprout again in Spring. Chokos can be temperamental in pots and planting direct in the ground, now, may expose it to being chilled earlier but the temperature in the earth will be more constant. Do not cover the crown of the choko with earth as your choko will rot. Leave top exposed a couple of centimetres and water around your choko, not on it, as this can also cause rot. Once they are established, with healthy leaves, they should withstand the odd over the top watering. They thrive is you have plenty of humus in the soil.
Showing 1 - 10 of 223 comments

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

- A Nelson

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.