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How to Plant, Grow. Prune, and Harvest Chayote

Chayote on tree1
Chayote fruit

Chayote is a warm-season, tender perennial. Plant the whole fruit 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring when the weather has warmed. Chayote grows best where summer temperatures are very warm to hot, in tropical or subtropical regions. Chayote requires 120 to 150 frost-free days to reach harvest.

Description. Chayote is a vine that produces a pale green to white, flattened-pear-shaped fruit that tastes like a nutty-flavored squash. Vine-like stems grow from a tuberous root and can reach up to 50 feet (15.2m) long. Leaves are hairy and resemble maple-leaves; male and female flowers are borne on the same vine. Young shoots, the fruit, and mature tubers are edible.

Yield. Plant 1 chayote vine per household of 4 persons.

Planting Chayote

Site. Plant chayote in full sun; chayote will grow in partial shade but the yield will be reduced. Grow chayote in loose, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter. Chayote prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8.

Planting time. Plant chayote 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring when the soil temperature has reached at least 65°F (18°C). Chayote grows best where summer temperatures are warm to hot, in tropical or subtropical regions such as Florida, the Gulf Coast, and California. Chayote requires 120 to 150 frost-free warm days to reach harvest. In short-summer regions, grow chayote in a container so that it can be brought indoors when the temperatures cool.

Chayote vine and fruits

Planting and spacing. Set a whole chayote fruit about 4 to 6 inches (10-15cm)deep, fat end down, and at an angle so that the stem end is just level with the soil surface. Sow seeds or fruits 10 feet apart. Chayote is a vigorous climber; set a sturdy trellis or support in place at planting. Do not allow maturing fruit to come in contact with the soil; it will spoil and germinate while still attached to the vine.

Companion plants. Pumpkin, peppers, squash, corn. Do not grow chayote with celery, mint, or snap beans.

Container growing. Chayote can be grown in a container, but the yield will not be significant. Grow chayote in a container about 24 inches deep. Chayote is a vigorous climber and a trellis or support should be set in the container at planting time.

Chayote Care

Water and feeding. Give chayote even, regular water; do not let the soil dry out. Add aged compost to the planting bed before planting. Side dress chayote with compost tea every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Side dress chayote with aged compost at midseason.

Care. Put a trellis or stake supports in place at planting time. In cold-winter regions, protect chayote with thick mulch 10 to 15 inches (25-38cm) thick before the first freeze.

Pests. Aphids may attack chayote vines. Hand-pick or hose them off with a strong blast of water.

Diseases. Chayote has no serious disease problems.

chayote sliced in kitchenHarvesting and Storing Chayote

Harvest. Chayote will be ready for harvest when the fruit is tender and about 4 to 6 inches (10-15cm) in diameter, usually 120 to 150 warm, frost-free days after planting. Cut chayote from the vine with a knife or hand-pruner. Harvest chayote before the flesh gets hard.

Storing and preserving. Chayote will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Diced chayote can be frozen or canned for up to 1 year.

Chayote Varieties to Grow

Plant the whole seed or whole vegetable of any variety available. Check with the area cooperative extension or nearby nursery for regional availability.

Common name. Chayote, chocho, chuchu, sou-sou, vegetable pear, one-seeded cucumber

Botanical name. Sechium edule

Origin. Central America

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.


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  1. My chayote ist sprouting and I want to plant it in a container, so I can bing it inside in the cold freezing winter and have it outsides from mid March to mid October. What size of container is recommended? Will it give fruits the first year?

    • The chayote is a perennial vine native to Central America. It will do best and come to harvest quickest if it is settled and happy in a warm place. If you transplant or re-pot the vine on a regular basis, you will set back root development and delay fruiting. The more settled and well watered and nourished any plant, the sooner it will flower and fruit. To repot your chayote, or any plant, consider the size of the root ball–the extent of rooting and the height and maturity of the plant. Usually you will pot-up one pot size–for example, from a five-gallon pot to a seven or ten gallon pot on the first repotting. If your chayote is taller than six feet, you may want to put it in a seven or ten gallon container to start; eventually you may pot up to a 15 gallon container–which should be sufficient for several years. Once potted up, your plant will do best if it is not set back in the ground on a regular basis; it will be a container plant which can either sit in the greenhouse or be set indoors during cold times of the year, that is below 60F for the chayote.

      • Chayote is a tender perennial. It can be grown year round in a warm greenhouse. Chayote is susceptible to root rot so if you grow it in a container make sure the soil is well drained. Keep the soil just moist–not wet. You may also want to train it up a trellis. One chayote plant can produce 50 or more fruits in a season.

  2. My chayote sprouted in a plastic pot. I put it in the kitchen by the window, so it would be protected from the cold outside and receive sun in the morning. It grew about 9 inches. One morning, some of the leaves appeared frozen. I put it in another room to get full afternoon sun, but it did not help. Looks like the plant is dying. I am thinking to buy another chayote in the supermarket. Will a young chayote sprout?

    • Plant the whole fruit laid on its side at a slight angle, with the narrow end protruding from the soil; be sure to use a well draining soil and don’t let the soil stay wet. You will need to make sure the temperature does not fall below 65F at any time during the plant’s life. For flowering and fruiting you will need day length of 12 hours.

  3. My chayote grew big in a 15 gallon bucket w/trellis, outsides but it didn’t bloom, so no fruits. I brought the bucket to the basement for winter and after around 2 – 3 weeks the vine dried. Is there a chance that the plant comes back when I take the bucket outsides in the spring?

    • Chayote grows from a seed not a tuber or rhizome. While the chayote plant can grow on for two or three seasons (in tropical climates), once the plant has died, it will not come back to life. Unless you see a flicker of life near the base of the vine, I suspect your plant is gone.

        • Chayote is a tender perennial plant. A freeze will likely kill the plant. If it is protected from cold weather it will grow on in your garden for several years and produce fruit.

  4. We have a sayote squash vine. In past years it has yielded a good amount of squash. However, we have a problem. As the squash start to grow they die off. We fertilize and water it when needed. What is wrong? Thanks.

    • When the squash stops growing can tell you something about what might be the problem. If the plant stops growing when the squash is small, then the problem could be insufficient pollination, or poor water or nutrient uptake. If the plant has grown for several weeks and then stops, look for signs of a squash vine borer or other insect attacked the stem–check along the stem in the first 3 or 4 weeks for signs of pests.

  5. I purchased chayote from the grocery store for my meals. One of them began sprouting before I was able to cook it. I bought a bag of three. I decided to see what happens kinda as a science project for my son. In less than two weeks it has full roots now seemingly growing into the other chayotes in the bag. A couple of vines have developed and have found the air holes to which they’re growing through of the plastic bag. I had left them in the closed bag I purchased them in for some reason it is thriving. One of the vines is almost a foot long. I haven’t watered at all and it is just in the kitchen of my condo in almost pitch black most of the day while I am at work. I live in SoCal and I have only just learned this squash even exists. I am interested in developing this plant however, none of the circumstances seem to fit my scenario. Suggestions? What should I do next? Is this just a fluke? Would it be worth the investment given the time of year and my setup?

    • Plant the developing chayote into a 5-gallon nursery pot with potting mix from the garden center. Set the plant in a sunny location and keep the soil just moist. You will know in a week or two it is going to survive and thrive.

  6. Thanks for a great article Steve. I received a few chayote fruits from a fellow gardener, procrastinated like everyone else here, and they sprouted. I want to plant them, and I’m in Zone 10a – which may be one of the warmest climates in USA, but still can get down to 35F, although lows of 40-50F is more common. Will it survive these “harsh” SoCal winters and come back every year? How high do I need to make the trellis… will a basic tomato cage or even a 3-4′ teepee shape do the trick?

    • When it comes to growing chayote–think cucumber. Chayote is a member of the cucumber family and has many of the same growing requirements. Chayote will suffer if temperatures drop below 50F for any length of time. It is probably best treated as an annual in cooler than tropical regions. A trellis is probably a better choice than a 4 foot tomato cage. Chayote vines can grow to 8 feet tall and spread just as wide. Grow chayote like you would a cucumber plant.

  7. I came across this in a pre-packaged bag of fresh soup vegetables. Not having seen this particular vegetable before, I searched it out. Now, I’ve got 2 in 5 gal pots that have sent up a stem. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep it going till Easter (our last frost date) – that’s 6 weeks away. I just hope that the grocery store will still be stocking them. I’m so eager to try growing it. Here is Central Texas, our summer temps hit into the low 100ºs. Now, it’s just a matter of preparing the soil. I hope to read more posts from others, too. Thanks for having posted this information, Steve.

  8. Thank you for the post and replies to all of the comments and questions. After reading I think I’m ready to ‘go forth and conquer’.

  9. In Sacramento, CA, Chayote can survive over winter in the ground if heavily mulched. Temperatures can get down to the low 20’s. I use about one foot of mulch consisting of the chopped up Chayote vine which mostly dies back with the first frost/freeze. It will grow up through the mulch in the spring and may get frosted back a bit. When danger of frost is past I remove all but about 4 inches of the mulch. I like a low trellis that I can see on top of since fruit frequently ends up on top of the trellis. You either need a really long trellis on less you plan on frequently cutting back the vines. Mine got away from me this year, climbing 30 feet up a tree. Even after cutting the vines back through July, it still ran over 30 feet in both directions (60 feet end to end) along the fence. Fruit never sets in the spring but around the middle to end of August the fruit starts setting. I stopped counting at 100 fruit this year. In Sacramento it does best in morning sun with full to about 50% afternoon shade. You can’t water it enough if it’s in full afternoon sun. Full afternoon sun will delay fruit production by 3 or 4 weeks.

    • Thanks for your comments. I am in the hills north of Livermore, CA. (45 min. East of San Francisco, inland east bay) & was wondering about our area. Based on your comments, I think I can successfully grow it. Thanks again.

  10. I have 3 Chayote vines that grew back from last yr. I covered them with mulch from the dry Chayote vines and leaves. Around March, I remove half of the mulch. When I see sprouts, I remove the rest of mulch. Somehow my Chayote don’t set fruit till November. Last yr, I harvested quite a bit before the freeze. These past 5 days in the 60’s and 70’s. Forecast this wk is 40’s. I’ve only harvested a dozen.

    • Chayote requires up to 150 frost free and preferably very warm days to get to harvest. It could be that your growing season is a bit on the cool side for chayote. You could “extend” your growing season by placing a plastic tunnel or small plastic greenhouse over the plant early in the season–or all winter. The soil will warm more quickly and the air temp will be warmer–this may give the plant extra growing time in spring and bring the fruit to harvest before cool temps in autumn. It might be worth a try.

      • Hi Steve,

        I live in Houston, Texas. I have several chayote plants. It grew very healthy. Couple weeks ago, I gave them some Fish fertilizer. Now, the leaves are turned from green to kinda yellow. I don’t know is that because of the heat from last week and not enough water or because of the fertilizer.

        Also, they were planted almost 4 months since They sprouted, but they don’t have any signs of blooming. I don’t know did I do anything wrong to them? Thank you.

        • The yellowing leaves could be from too much fertilizer, too much or too little water, or the heat. In the future, apply fertilizer at half the recommended dose or application–that will still be enough. The plants are likely stressed; when the plant is not stressed it will bloom.

  11. Steve, it is so heartwarming to read your kind, patient and generous advice to your readers. You need to clone/propagate yourself as you are a valuable cultivar!

  12. Dear Steve: My friend gave me a chayote in 2016 and I planted in my back yard garden and got more than 100 fruits. unfortunately, when I tried to leave some for 2017 as seeds, they all died without give any shoots. And this year, I already bought 3 from supermarket and 2 of them have the sprouts now. But some of my friends warned me that the supermarket fruit may not give fruit to me since the seed company said all seeds will be used for just one year. Is that true? Thank you.


    • When using seed from a fruit, be sure the fruit was organically grown–not treated with chemicals which could inhibit seed growth–and that the plant was not a hybrid (hybrids do not always grow true to the parent). Seed from organically grown, non-hybrid plants should produce fruit just like the parent.

  13. Hi Steve,

    My in-laws gave me Chayote fruit. I would like to save 1 to attempt to plant it in my garden. I live in PA so it will be a long while before I can plant it outside. Should I put the fruit into soil right now to sprout it indoors or can I put it into the freezer and bring it out in March to try? I don’t have much space indoors so my concern is it I sprout it now and it takes off, I’ll be wrapped alive by the vines!

    • Getting an early start on the chayote would be preferable since you live in a relatively short growing season region for chayote. If you do not want to plant the seed now, it would be best to store it in a cool location above freezing (such as a basement or garage). Freezing the seed you risk damaging cells in the seed that contain moisture–those cells can expand and burst if frozen.

    • We are not hydroponic growers at Harvest to Table, but you should be able to grow chayote using a hydroponic system. Chayote requires a lot of room for growing and fruits–so growing chayote indoors will require considerable space.

    • Chayote grows commonly in tropical and semi-tropical locations. If you can give the plant 120-150 warm, frost-free days with temperatures in the 70s or warmer you will likely have success. In Zone 5 that will likely mean starting the plant early in the season indoors and then setting outdoors after nighttime temperatures remain above 60F until harvest.

    • Hello! We live in North Florida. My husband planted chayote with great success. It did take over everything! But we did have over a 100 or so chayotes this past winter. We cut it back 90%. It has grown immensely already! We have had a lot of rain and warm weather. I believe it will be even stronger and more prolific this year. We are seeinng flowering in May. What does that mean? Will we see chayotes sooner than November?

      • Chayote fruits will be ready for harvest 4 to 8 weeks after pollination. If bees or other pollinators are visiting the flowers on your chayote plants in May and pollination occurs, the fruits should be ready for harvest in July or August.

    • Here are a few possible reasons: (1) too much water, or too little; (2) temperature too cool or too warm; if the weather has been hot, it could be a sunburn; (3) lack of nitrogen in the soil or a soil chemical imbalance; (4) disease. Keep the soil just moist–not wet. Give the plant an all-purpose organic fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. If a disease such as gray mold or powdery mildew are attacking the plant, you can kill the fungi with a horticultural oil.

  14. THANK YOU for your passion for growing healthy good food. I appreciate your experience, professionalism, and down-to-earth positive encouragement.

    I live in Vancouver, Washington, near the Columbia River. We definitely get too much rain and cloudy weather in my opinion, since I’m originally from Cupertino, CA thirty years ago before the housing boom. I lament the housing market is beyond my wildest dreams and the best I can do is visit my family once a year :o( I keep “grounded” with organic gardening in raised beds that do quite well~ but my delight is my south-facing windows for my indoor Organic Meyer Lemon tree and jungle of house plants.

    This past December, my dear friend from Sunnyvale gave me TWO giant chayote that were sprouting to bring home to raise indoors in my great room upstairs with south facing windows. Now, it is almost the end of March. I had placed both chayote fruits in a humongous fired planter and their vines are about 4′ high and the vines are held by steel poles inserts into the pots which I will add a trellis between to make more support areas and even bridge them across to other pots to support them—my hope is with good care, warmth, and enriching the soil with worm castings and tea—By November~ I’ll be harvesting lots of chayote!

    Wish me luck! Blessings on all your endeavors and HAPPY GARDENING!

    • Thank you for your note from beautiful Washinton state. There are many gardening opportunities in your region. The climate where you are poses many garden challenges you did not have in Northern Califonia– that is the fun of gardening; it’s always new and challenging. Growing chayote anywhere far from it Central American origin is always a challenge. Keep us posted!

  15. Hey Steve. I live in the high desert, in the southernmost tip of Nevada, elevation 2500 feet, it can get up to 115 plus during the summer, but the growing season is very long, It doesn’t get below freezing until mid late December. And that’s only at night. the humidity is rather low and the winds are rather high, if I amend the really Sandy and silty soil with compost, peat moss, Gibson, a little bit of fertilizer and then mulch over the top of it, do you think the chayote will grow here? the large garden plot here, has a heavy frame built over it. I want to cover it with 4 by 6 hog wire and grow chayote and kiwano to act as a natural wind and sun barrier for the rest of the garden. Plus both plants claim high production. Oh, one more thing, do you know if you can dehydrate chayote?

    • Growing any plant in a windy location can be challenging. Wind draws moisture from leaves and makes plant growth problematic. If you want to grow chayote for the fruit, it would be best to protect the chayote plants from the wind–rather than to use them as a windbreak. Consider planting Jerusalem artichokes (grown for their roots) as your windbreak; or plant a hedge. That will allow you to get the best harvest from your chayote plants. If planting windbreak plants is not possible, plan the chayote and gauge the success or problems over the first couple of seasons. Chayote is often preserved by pickling, but you can give drying a try.

  16. Hi steve,

    I bought chayote at Sprouts, sprouted them, for about 1 month, then transplanted them two months ago. I am in Sourhtern Califonria, Los Angeles. The vines are huge but there don’t seem to be any blossoms yet. Should I be alarmed? Is it possible that the choyotes I bought are sterile?

    • Feed your chayote with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish emulsion or look for an organic fertilizer that is high in phosphorus such a 3-6-3 or 5-10-5. Phosphorus will encourage blooming. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers.

    • My daughter in San Diego has a large yard surrounded by a high wooden fence. At first they grew in large pots and just leafed but when she put the fruit in the ground it totally took over the fence with a huge amount of fruit. Loads of great recipes..

  17. Chayote was my favorite food when I visited the Philippines, recently. I would like to try growing it, but I live in Pennsylvania on the shore of Lake Erie. Summer temperatures seldom hit 90 degrees, and highs in the 80s are normal only in July and August. Do I have any hope? Also, would the plant be dormant if it was placed in the basement during the winter, with 60 degree temperatures?

    • Experience is the best teacher when it comes to gardening. Give it a try. Chayote may do just fine in the upper 80sF but you will need nearly 100 days. It may be too late to start this year. But you can try if you have a greenhouse or can put together a frame in which the chayote will stay warm–particularly at night. The plant will likely make it through the winter at 60F–but again a warm plant blanket might help.

    • Feed your chayote plants with a high phosphorus fertilizer such as 5-10-10; phosphorus will help bloom development. Keeping the plant as warm as possible may also help–above 70F year-round or warmer.

  18. I planted chaayote 3 months ago. The plant grew very big, but not even one fruit grew on the plant. What could be the reason?

    Any help appreciated.

    • The soil is probably too rich in nitrogen. Has the plant flowered? If not add a bloom booster fertilizer to the soil–phosphorus. Sprinkle the phosphorus-rich fertilizer around the plant and scratch it into the soil. Also, be sure the plant is getting 6 to 8 hours of direct sun each day.

    • Check online for sellers of chayote seed. If your produce store sells chayote, buy one and sprout your own plant from the chayote you purchase. (Make sure the squash has not been treated to retard germination–ask for organically grown chayote.) Chayote seeds are viviparous which means they sprout while still inside the fruit. Place the chayote in a medium to large paper bag, leave the end open, and set it in a cool spot out of the sun. You should see new sprouts in 2 to 3 weeks. When the sprout is about 4 inches long you can plant the seed in an organic potting mix–with the sprout above the soil and grow it on.

    • These have been very helpful! I’m going to try to grow the fruit that has sprouted on my kitchen counter. Its the first of May and I live in San Antonio Texas. Any advise is appreciated.

  19. Hi I have planted two chayote fruits in 30 cm pots. I buried the entire fruit at about 5 cm depth. After 4 weeks, one is spouting, but the other not yet, though there are roots coming out at the base of the pot. Is it still going to sprout or is something going wrong, perhaps the seed was too deep?

    • The seed may have been too deep. Carefully remove a few cm of soil to see if a sprout is on the way. If the seed was too deep, you will be bringing it closer to the surface by removing the soil. It is likely a sprout will appear soon.

  20. Thank you for the great insight!
    My chayote plant is healthy but the fruit is being attacked by something and somehow rotting on one side what could be the issue?

    • Attack by insects, birds, or critters can leave small holes in the fruit which then can develop rot. Place bird netting over the plants to exclude most birds and critters. If you suspect insects, cover the plants with a lightweight row cover which will allow light to reach the fruit but exclude insects. Sticky traps can also help control insects.

    • When fruit does not develop it is usually because of insufficient pollination; since male and female chayote flowers are on the same plant, you may want to hand pollinate next season if there are not enough bees or pollinators about. Rub the male flower against the female flower.

  21. Hello,
    I have a small chayote plant. The only real placement for it would be along my fence, above the main water line. Would this be a problem in the future? Meaning could the roots damage the water line? If I need to plant away from the water line, how many feet away would be safe?
    Thank you,

    • If you live where winters are cold, your plant will likely die at the end of the season and so the roots are unlikely to grow to great depth. If you live in a warm-winter region, chayote may grow as a perennial for a few years. Then it would be best to either plant in a larger container or tub (with drainage holes) so that the roots do not interfere with the waterline. Another alternative would be to place a wooden or sturdy wire trellis several feet from the fence and lean it at a 45-degree angle against the fence; then plant the chayote at the foot of the trellis away from the fence.

    • If the plant is outdoors in the ground, mulch heavily over the roots and protect the upper growth with plant covers or blankets. You can also string Christmas lights through the plant on freezing nights. If the plant is in a pot, move it indoors–to a shed or garage protected from freezing temperatures.

    • Check to be sure there are no pest insects on the undersides of leaves; spray with insecticidal soap if you see any; keep the soil just moist–not wet or dry; feed with a dilute solution of fish emulsion every 10 days. Small leaves indicate plant stress; these suggestions should help.

  22. I am from London UK and have a plant in the ground which has only just fruit. We are in autumn and heading for winter. I hiess I’m going to loos my plant? Do you think I can crop it down, dig it up, put it in a pot to bring in doors with the intention of keeping it alive and growing out again next year?

    • Repotting the plant and bringing it indoors for the winter is likely the very best way to keep it alive. Place it in a bright window in a warm room. Water every 10 days with a dilute solution of fish emulsion or kelp meal; don’t overwater; this solution should help the plant stay alive and avoid shock from being transplanted.

  23. I planted my chayote i believe back in the end of july begining of August , it is now almost Oct first and no squash… Very big healthy vine taking over two huge arbors and still climbing…. Im in Southern California where it is still warm and not to cold at night.. Will we get any squash this year before our winter sets in? I have read it can take up to several months before they flower and produce..
    thanks for the info in advance…


    • If not baby fruits have set by this time, it is unlikely the plants will take fruit to maturity. It may be that the soil or fertilizer was too rich in nitrogen. Plant earlier next year and use a higher phosphorus complete fertilizer such as 5-10-10.

      • Ok thank you !!! Thats is such a bummer, it is such a huge beautiful plant to take it all out….. At least i know for next year… Thanks again !!

    • Zone 10a will remain reasonably mild through the winter; leave the fruits in place and see how they progress over the next 4 to 8 weeks.

  24. Some people are concerned that their chayotes aren’t blooming after just 3 months. Having made this mistake, I’ll share it with you. Some fruits are day-length controlled. I bought a fruit in December once, imported from a climate that was warmer than my area in December. The plants then fruited too late and died with tiny fruits for my thanksgiving first frost area. Try to purchase fruits during a time you would want them to harvest in your garden. Pruning encourages earlier fruiting as plant puts energy into remaining fruits. I’ve also been told higher harvests from having at least 2 plants.
    I’m trying again with fruits purchased before Halloween to grow in my garden. They are huge white fruits purchased in an Asian market grown by local Hmong farmers. I’m setting 2 on my counter to try to get them to germinate. I will try planting in an area with afternoon shade, as it gets 114f in summer here. I’m using an old swing set frame to hold up the trellising. I’ll plant on the ends of the trellis, train and trim main stem along the top of the frame, then let side shoots grow down the trellis tying as needed and pruning at 5 ft long. I will prepare the raised bed with aged stable manure and organic fertilizer now in November, starting the fruits in the house, then in soil in pots within a greenhouse in January. I plan to plant out under Argocloth in February. This Raised garden bed has grown tomatoes and Pole beans And cucumber in the past, so it gets enough sun. We get 300+ frost free days a year. I can even grow sweet potatoes in my garden. They should thrive here. I will hand pollinate flowers at beginning of bloom. I hope that this will work. Wish me luck.

  25. I live in Zone 10 (Cupertino, CA). I have 2 chayotes that planted indoors each in 1 gallon containers and are growing fast. It is now Nov mid-November. Will the plants survive the mild winter here (Zone 10) if I plant them outdoors now (mid-Nov)?

    • If you can protect the plants from cool nights and unexpected frost through the winter (perhaps with a frame over the plant covered with plastic sheeting) then plant now. However, the safer bet would be to wait until March or April when temperatures are warming.

  26. Try this to make all the buds to last and fruit. Ferment buttermilk for a week after that take equal amounts of fresh coconut milk and mix with fermented buttermilk and ferment it for 4-5 days. Then dilute 100 ml in 1 litte of water and spray it once a week for two times. This solution would smell bad but the results are amazing.

  27. I am in TN, northeast corner. Have tried chayote 2 times. Second time it was covered with 2 inch babies then it frosted here and I lost them all . Has anyone tried growing them like grapes, pruning to 4 vines and running them sideways on 2 lines both directions from root area. Then when it is calling for frost to put hoops over them, plastic or blankets to cover at night?

  28. We have been taking the shoots of choco plants few times and cooked as vegetables. My question, would they still bear choco fruit? Cos I noticed the choco plant doesn’t have flowers yet and afraid won’t bear fruit cos of taking the shoots as vegetables. Would that affect the fruiting? Thank you

    • Your best strategy would be to grow one plant for shoots and a second for fruit. By cutting the leaves, the plant may struggle to produce enough energy and nutrients to flower and bear fruit.

  29. I live in Castro Valley, CA. Yesterday I dug up some tubular roots, from the ground where chayotes were growing last year. I am not sure that they are chayote roots. What do chayote tubular roots look like? Are chayote tubular roots edible?

    • The roots, stems, leaves, and fruit of the chayote are edible. The chayote root is a tuber and looks something like a light-skinned sweet potato.
      Take the root you found to the nearby cooperative extension service for identification before you eat it. Some plant roots are poisonous.

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