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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

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.
21 Oct 19, (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you put me in touch with some Australian choko growers please.
23 Oct 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Phone your state fruit and vegetable growing organisation.
21 Oct 19, Carine (Australia - temperate climate)
I notice that someone asked the question of where you can source choko tubers, but there is no reply. I would be interested to know as I am looking for some tubers myself. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. With many thanks.
22 Oct 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Buy from a shop then leave them sit in the cupboard or windowsill. Go to google and research how to grow choko.
22 Oct 19, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
I just planted a whole choko in the ground and forgot about it. Had to get rid of it in the end as it got a bit out of hand.
23 Oct 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Trim the plant back after it fruits each year. I had a 600mm high young passionfruit (?) plant grow to over 10 m long in the space of a year. I have just cut 2/3 of it off. The neighbour waters the hell out of her plants on the other side of the fence. I didn't have many fruit but a huge vine.
25 Aug 19, Gordon (Australia - tropical climate)
Can i grow chokos in Cairns in a pot do i need two ive planted them in a pot using potting mix do i have to water them Thank you
Showing 1 - 10 of 187 comments

The white powdery coating on the leaves of your choko is an indicator of powdery mildew. This fungus affects many crops in late summer and autumn. Chokos, pumpkins, zucchinis and cucumber being some of the worst affected. Good air circulation and watering at the root rather than overhead is good insurance against this problem. I know of people who make a spray of 10% milk in water as an effective control. Alternatively you could spray the plant with a fungicide spray.

- Jack

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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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