United States Edition

Chayote

Sechium edule

Chayote is a member of the Sechium family. Its botanical name is Sechium edule.

Chayote is a tuberous rooted perennial that climbs. Vines can grow 40 feet (12 meters) or higher. Leaves are broadly triangulate, about 5-8 in (12-20 cm) long, with shallow lobes. The fruit is pale green and pear-shaped, about 6 in (15 cm) long. It hangs from the vines on thin stems.

The fruit is thick and fleshy, a little crisp, and contains a single large, soft-hulled seed which is eaten right along with the flesh. Each vine can produce 50 or more fruits per season.

It is an edible vegetable and is treated mainly as a perennial, so it grows best over a period of time (3 years and greater). Normally grows with a viny habit. This plant tends to bloom in early summer, followed by first harvests in mid summer.

Chayote is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Chayote have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Chayote

  • Full Sun

    OR +
  • Partial Sun

    +
  • Medium

Chayote is a warm-season tender pereennial that requires 120 to 150 frost-free days to reach harvest. Grows as a vine and produces pale green to white flattened—ear-shaped fruit that tastes like a nutty-flavored squash. The vines can reach up to 50 feet long, leaves are hairy and resemble maple-leaves. Grow 1 chayote plant per household of 4 people. Takes full sun or partial shade and grows in loose, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter.1

Position in a full sun / partial sun location and remember to water moderately. Use Zone 8 - Zone 11 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Chayote needs a soil ph of 6.0 to 6.8 (weakly acidic soil). Chayote is generally regarded as a tender plant, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

Growing Chayote from seed

Leave mature fruit indoors in a cool, dry place until it starts to form a shoot.

Transplanting Chayote

Plant shooting fruit at an angle with the shooting end pointing downwards and the top just at or slightly above soil level.

Chayote is tender, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

Harvesting Chayote

Pick the fruit when pale green and about 5cm (2inches) in length. Larger, older fruit have less flavour.

Seed Saving Chayote

The centre of the choko fruit is a seed. This is the part that will shoot if the harvested fruit is kept indoors.

Companion plants for Chayote

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Chayote so consider planting:

Repellent plants for Chayote

These plants will not grow well with Chayote so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Chayote problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Chayote plants:

Chayote Folklore & Trivia

At one time there was a rumor afloat in Australia that McDonald’s was making its apple pies from chayote rather than apples. It appears that this wasn’t the case—chayote were more expensive at the time than apples. McDonald’s responded by emphasizing that this pies were made from real Granny Smith apples.

Other names for Chayote

Mirliton, Christophine, Chow-chow, Choko, Chocko, Chouchou, Cidra, Gayota, Vegetable pear, Squash

Chayote care instructions

How long does Chayote take to grow?

These estimates for how long Chayote takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Footnotes

Chayote Forums

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