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

05 Feb 21, Sue (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Would I be able to grow a choko in stanthorpe qld
10 Feb 21, Karen (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
yes, but it will die off in Winter - just trim, leaving root in the ground, cover with straw, and it will shoot up again in spring
05 Feb 21, SHIRL (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi there, Can I plant a sprouted choko into a pot/ground in February in Sydney? If not how can keep this to be planted later. Thanks for any advice.
20 Feb 21, bushgirl (Australia - temperate climate)
If you have a warm corner, and can protect it from frost, you may be able to encourage it to grow for a couple of months. The idea is to help it mature enough to over-Winter and sprout again in Spring. Chokos can be temperamental in pots and planting direct in the ground, now, may expose it to being chilled earlier but the temperature in the earth will be more constant. Do not cover the crown of the choko with earth as your choko will rot. Leave top exposed a couple of centimetres and water around your choko, not on it, as this can also cause rot. Once they are established, with healthy leaves, they should withstand the odd over the top watering. They thrive is you have plenty of humus in the soil.
08 Feb 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It says to plant Dec for temperate. If you are on the sub tropical side for weather MAYBE. If you have cooler weather probably not. You can give it a try.
15 Jan 21, My Quach (Australia - temperate climate)
Choko leaves become yellow Please advise how to save my choko.
18 Jan 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
Water and fertiliser
26 Nov 20, Luna (Australia - tropical climate)
My choco leaves get burn dueing summer and the fruits become unhealthy . It also upset me because of some yellow beetles around which i always squeezed by hand.
26 Nov 20, Anonymous (Australia - tropical climate)
By the guide here it is grown during the autumn and winter in the tropics. If you are growing during the summer then you probably need to water it every day. The yellow/orange beetles if they have little black dots on them could be lady beetles. They are good in the garden.
17 Nov 20, Rob Alan (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a Choko vine. Fruited very well last year. Is starting to produce fruit but they are rotting on the vine. Does anyone have any idea why?
Showing 1 - 10 of 216 comments

I have a Choko vine. Fruited very well last year. Is starting to produce fruit but they are rotting on the vine. Does anyone have any idea why?

- Rob Alan

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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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