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

21 Jun 20, Jaco (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
What kind of soil and nutrition do choko need.?What kind of root system do it have depth of ground ext
22 Jun 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I suggest you do some research on the internet about soil for gardening. Preparing soil takes a few weeks or months before planting. If you prepare your soil properly you add compost and even manure to it 2-3 months before planting. Dig soil 250-300mm deep.
11 May 20, Lea Doolan (Australia - tropical climate)
why do leaves on a helathy choko curl,,the fruit doesn't seem affected..
12 May 20, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try an agronomist at a farming agency.
08 May 20, Trevor McPherson (Australia - temperate climate)
Do choko have a white sap it grows rampant i treat is a weed.
25 May 20, Tonyw (Australia - temperate climate)
Sounds like moth weed which is climbing pest
11 May 20, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look on the internet to see if the leaves are the same. Or is it bearing fruit. Could be sweet potato?????
26 Jan 20, Maureen Po (Australia - temperate climate)
I am having the same problem Growing well all new leaves are curling inwards. I have treated for mites but I haven’t seen anything on the leaves. Anyone have any advise?
27 Jan 20, (Australia - temperate climate)
You could have a virus. Is the plant stunted?
18 Nov 19, Marlene (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Growers food markets are a good place to source chokos. Facebook also has localised growers sites. I've given many sprouted chokos away as there is only so many you can eat - they are so prolific. Have some at the moment if you live in the Clarence Valley.
Showing 1 - 10 of 195 comments

Look on the internet to see if the leaves are the same. Or is it bearing fruit. Could be sweet potato?????

- Anonymous

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.