Growing Choko/Chayote, also Chayote squash, christophene, chouchou, mirliton

Sechium edule : Cucurbitaceae / the gourd family

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

26 Jul 22, Nori (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
When do I start cutting down the plant. Is it during winter season? Tks
27 Jul 22, Julie Pannell (Australia - temperate climate)
Cut back the vines to about 12 inches above ground after the last choko has been picked, closer to the end of winter. They will have very little growth for ages and then grow again when the time is right. The leaves can be dead at the beginning of vines but still keep fruit growing at the ends. They fruit for many months.
27 Jun 22, Virginia de Joux (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi - wondering if you have any choko plants spare? I am struggling to find a seed source.
05 Aug 22, Anthony (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
i Buy a choko from the store and leave it on top of my fridge or in a fruit bowl on the table .The choko will sprout from one end. Once sprouted it is ready to plant out. Plant the whole vegetable in the ground on its side. Then support and train the vine up a stake or trellis. i then train it to a overhead rack, (Old wire mesh fence gate on poles ) 1 choko will produce a lot of vines , and should yield 80 fruit or more
30 Jun 22, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Buy a choko and put it in your pantry until it starts sprouting.
03 Jun 22, Jessy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Grew my first ever choko this year starting with a whole choko in the ground. Got more than 200 chokos. I like the taste of choko after it started sprouting. So I ended up with a lot of sprouted choko seeds which I planted in the ground. (Only the seeds, no flesh attached to it). They are growing well and I am harvesting the growing tips from them already. If these plants from seeds alone grow big, will they produce chokos? Does the nutritional value of chokos change as they start sprouting? Thanks.
05 Aug 22, Anthony (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Best to plant the whole choko after it has sprouted. I have heard, that just planting the seeds is not as successful .But you can always try right.
17 May 22, Brian (Australia - temperate climate)
Thank you Chris, the feedback I received has given me advice different to what I have been doing with Chokos. I will have to follow up when I know of availability of fruit so that I can purchase them and try again.
15 May 22, Brian Wood (Australia - temperate climate)
Wanting to get Choko fruit for planting in Broken Hill. Not certain when or where to purchase can you help? Would like to talk to NAFISA whose Dec.11 comments could be interesting as it looks as if they also reside in BROKEN HILL.
21 Apr 22, Diana (Australia - temperate climate)
I grew a choko in Melbourne. The plant lived for 3. years. I planted the sprouted fruit on its side never fed it. Had massed and masses of chokos. It died down late winter and sprouted the following year. It grew 20 feet into trees. Was in a very sheltered shady position. Not a warm spot but no frost. I have friends who have grown massive chokos here in our cool temperate climate. It doesn’t like frosts. I can’t imagine a choko in any kind of pot
Showing 1 - 10 of 251 comments

Would I be able to grow a choko in stanthorpe qld

- Sue

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