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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 (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

10 Feb 18, Suzanne R White (Australia - temperate climate)
Wondering why the leaves of my growing choko are yellowing. Overwatering or under watering.? Maybe mineral deficiency.
12 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Consider how fertile your soil is. Add some fertiliser (N). You should know if you are over watering. Big plants water each couple of days depending on the temp. Put some trace elements on - Bunnings $10.
07 Feb 18, Brett (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in the Mallee I'd love to grow these , but it gets in the high 30-40 here in summer what the best I can do . I should be able to plant early if they can take a bit of frost
07 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
It says to plant in December in the temperate zone, so you are about 5 weeks late. If you have a choko that is shooting, plant it.
12 Feb 18, Brett Chanter (Australia - temperate climate)
No I don't , Ill have to see if I can find one . Would it be to late for this area you think ?
13 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You can try - the times here are only a guide - they are not perfect all the time - if it doesn't work plant earlier next time. An idea is to buy a choko a couple of months earlier than planting - put it down the bottom of the pantry in the cool dark place. It will probably start to shoot after awhile. Come Dec plant it in the soil.
16 Nov 17, Alice (Australia - temperate climate)
Where can you get choko from to plant
20 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Buy one and keep it inside - when it starts spouting time to plant in the garden.
05 Nov 17, John Avery (Australia - tropical climate)
I am planting a choko and was wondering what fertiliser to use when planting it?
06 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Don't fertiliser when you plant. Either mix the fertiliser in a few weeks before you plant or wait until after the plants have grown a bit before fertilizing. Just a normal veggie growing fertiliser. 10-12 N, 3-4-5 P, 10-14K.
Showing 1 - 10 of 139 comments

Stop putting the scraps there. Probably too much N. Leaf growth and little fruit. When it flowers cut out the N and give it some K. Consider pulling out the passion fruit also. Or transplant it some where else.

- Mike

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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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