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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Chayote, Purdue University, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture