UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Chayote

Photo:  University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences
Photo: University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences
Garden Help > Vegetables

UC Links

How to grow: How to Grow Chayote (Youtube video)

Pest management: Chayote has similar pests and diseases to those affecting squash and pumpkin

The Basics

Chayote—a member of the cucurbit family (along with cucumber, melons, and squash)—is a perennial vine which produces edible vegetables used in cooking and used raw in salads and salsas.

When to plant: Plant seed or sprouted fruit May–Sept (maybe Apr and Oct)

Harvest window

  • As a short day plant, chayote only initiates flowering when day length is less than about 12 hours.
  • Fruit development takes 1–2 months after pollination.
  • Harvest when the fruit is about 4–6 inches in diameter, at 4–5 months after planting.

Care overview

  • Chayote is a perennial plant, but it's good practice to renew it at least every three years due to potential disease problems.
  • Propagate by seed or by planting a whole, sprouted chayote fruit on its side, leaving the sprout above the soil. 
  • Support it with a strong trellis for its vigorous climbing vine.
  • Without pruning, chayote vine may grow to more than 10 meters long. Prune vines for a better harvest.

Other Links

  • Chayote, Purdue University, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
 
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