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

12 Sep 20, Lois (Australia - temperate climate)
Can anyone please tell if chokos you buy in a supermarket will grow and produce fruit. Thank you
14 Sep 20, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Yes
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 197 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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