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

24 Oct 20, Jen (Australia - temperate climate)
I bought my last one from Coles. I bought the smallest and oldest looking one. Currently the sprout is about 3 inches and I will probably plant it out in a couple of days. It was not organic or anything - just regular off the shelf.
19 Oct 20, Shez (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The choko you buy in shops used to sprout and you could grow them, in the last couple of years I have bought many and they don’t sprout. I think they must treat them somehow to stop sprouting. You have to find someone who has a vine to get one for growing on, I have been given a pale one, but would like a standard green one, they are hardier plants, the pale one suffers badly from mealy bug and doesn’t give much fruit.
17 Oct 20, sanjiv (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Where can i buy choko seeds/vine? I am in Johannesburg.
20 Oct 20, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Try from market gardens or find someone local to ask to buy one from.
19 Oct 20, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Buy one from a shop and put in a cool spot. It should start sending out a vine in awhile. Then plant it.
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)
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..
Showing 1 - 10 of 202 comments

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

- Anonymous

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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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