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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

Your comments and tips

08 Aug 17, Kath ingram (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Id like to grow chokos we live in cooma nsw n was wondering if i would be able to grow them in a greenhouse
18 Jun 17, Patrick webstet (Australia - temperate climate)
What time of year do I plant chokos on the central coast of Nsw l live At kulnura
20 Jun 17, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
25 May 17, Daisy Ann Cumming (Australia - temperate climate)
What's the time to plant chocos?
25 May 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Chokos are frost-tender perennials. To establish a choko plant choose or buy a couple of good sized, smooth skinned chokos and leave them on a bench until they begin to sprout. Stem and leaves will come first and roots will grow some time later. If you are still having frosts you then plant it in a pot so that the fruit is covered and the new growth is just below the soil level. Plant it outside after the likelihood of frosts is past. Chokos are strong growers and can cover a big area in a good season so plant it where it will have plenty of room to grow. In cooler areas the plant will die back in the winter but re-sprout from the perennial root in the spring.
29 Apr 17, danny (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
what causes the the leaves to go powder like and kills the vine on the choko
30 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
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.
07 Apr 17, Leonie Diran (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Is there any way you can grow them in cold atead
08 Apr 17, Jack (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I see you are in a cool mountain climate and want to grow choko's. This challenge would be affected by how many frost-free months you have. I have seen them in Sydney 12 metres (40') up in a gum tree and have grown them in Bairnsdale on the South Coast of Victoria where they covered a shed. It's worth the challenge. Buy one or two choko's from a fruit shop and keep them inside on a bench until they start to sprout then plant the whole choko in a pot with the sprout base just under the soil. Keep them inside until all risks of frost are over. Select a spot in the garden that gets the maximum amount of sun for the day. Against a North or North-East facing wall or fence would be ideal. Dig a good sized hole and add horse or poultry manure in the bottom then cover that with soil. As the manure rots it will generate heat which will help get the choko growing and also provide fertiliser when the roots get down. Some aluminium foil or a piece of builders insulation fixed behind it will reflect heat and help as well. You will have to hope for a long hot summer to get chokos for harvest but it won't have cost you a lot if it doesn't work. Choko vines die back in the winter so you could give it a good blanket of hay or straw to protect the root from frost and hopefully a better season next year. All the best, let us know how you go.
11 Dec 16, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
Why are the leaves on my choko vine turning yellow? I water every day & give it flourish once a week. Hope you can help, Thanks Paul.
Showing 11 - 20 of 133 comments

We are now growing chouchou in a temporary greenhouse in Bexley in Kent. It came from the stone of the fruit and is growing like crazy with a bit of fleece netting over it to keep it warm. The fruit makes a fantastic juice esepcially when mixed with a smidge of orange juice. The juice is used in Brazil as a natural remedy to help lower blood pressure. It sure does seem to work.

- Mike n Lucy

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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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