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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

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.
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!
25 May 18, Lina (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Our choko plant had thousands of little chooks but they all fell off, in all we picked 15 Can you please tell me why. Please lina
29 May 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably not many bees to pollinate the female flowers.
22 May 18, Angie Tan De Souza (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I had planted my Choko Plant in end of 2016. Got a few melons in 2017 and quite a number of them in 2018. Of course it have flowers and melon only during warmer season. apparently there are a few new shoots are growing from the plant, so I would appreciate if someone can let me know how long does a choke plant can grow? Thanks and regards.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 153 comments

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.

- Darren

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