How to Grow a Choko Plant from Choko Fruit And Seed

This article describes a detailed procedureon how to grow a choko plant from fruit and seed easily at home. The choko plant (Sechium edule), also known as chayote, vegetable pear, or christophine, is a versatile and delicious climbing vegetable that can easily be grown from choko fruits. If you have a choko fruit on hand and want to grow your own choko plant, it is easy to grow, follow these simple steps to get your choko vine, as I have done in Sydney, Australia.

Growing Choko From Fruit

What time of year do you plant chokos?

You should sprout and plant seeds or choko fruit at the end of winter indoors if you live in a frost-prone area. Then plant them into prepared soil outdoors in spring. Choko can be plant in soil at any time of the year in warmer climates.

Step 1: Selecting a Healthy Choko Fruit

The first step in growing a choko plant from choko fruit is to select a healthy ripe fruit. Look for a choko that is firm and free from any signs of mold or decay. A ripe choko may be of slightly wrinkled appearance. Ensure that the choko has not sprouted any roots or shoots, as it is best to start with a fresh fruit that has not yet begun to germinate.

Ripe Choko Fruit
Choko Fruit

Step 2: How To Sprout Choko 

The chokos are viviparous, which means thery will shoot from the seed from the inside. To initiate the sprouting process, place the choko fruit in a warm, dry and bright location for a few weeks. A well-ventilated spot, such as a windowsill or kitchentable, is ideal. The choko fruit will start to produce shoots and roots in a few weeks. Keep an eye on the fruit and ensure that it remains dry during the sprouting period, otherwise it may rot. 

Sprouted Choko Fruit
Sprouted Choko Fruit

Step 3: Preparing the Planting Site For Chokos

  1. While the choko fruit is sprouting, prepare the planting site in your garden. Choose a location with full sun exposure and well-draining soil. 
  2. Soil For Choko: The soil should be well-draining and enriched with organic matter. If your garden soilis clay, then add some river sand to make it free-draining. Enrich the soil by adding plenty of compost or cow manure.

Step 4: Planting the Sprouted Choko Fruit

Once the choko fruit has sprouted shoots and roots, it's time to plant it in the prepared site. Dig a hole in the soil that is deep enough to accommodate the root system of the sprouted choko. Place the choko fruit in the hole with the shoots facing upward and gently cover it with soil. Water the plant thoroughly after planting to help it establish its roots in the new location.

Step 5: Mulch

Put a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain soil moisture and prevent weed growth. You can put a thick layer of sugarcane mulch.

Step 6: Watering and Care

  1. Choko plants require consistent moisture to thrive.
  2. Water the newly planted choko regularly, especially during dry periods.
  3. Do not overwater, otherwise it can lead to root rot. Water only when top one inch soil becomes dry.

Step 7: Providing Support

  1. Choko plants are vigorous climbers, so it is essential to provide a sturdy support to accommodate the growth of the plant as chokos need plenty of space to spread, they can grow to 3 meter height and 5 meter wide. 
  2. You can use a trellis, fence, or other vertical structures to help the choko plant grow upward.
  3. From time to time, guide the vines gently onto the support to encourage upward growth.
  4. As the choko plant grows, it will start to climb and spread its vines on the support system. 

Choko Vine
Choko Vine

Step 8: Pruning and Training Choko Vine

  1. To maintain a healthy and productive choko plant, occasional pruning and training are necessary as is true for any vines. 
  2. Prune any dead or damaged branches, and encourage the main stems to grow upward along the support structure. 
  3. Regularly train the vines to prevent them from becoming tangled and to promote better air circulation around the plant.

Step 9: Harvesting Choko Fruits

  1. With proper care, your  choiko vine will start to flower and produce fruit in 4 to 5 months from planting the seed or sprouted choko.
  2. Choko fruits are ready for harvest when they reach a size of about 4 to 6 inches in length. Harvest the fruits by cutting them off the vine with a sharp knife or pruning shears, leaving a short stem intact.
  3. The choko fruits are delicate and can bruise easily, so handle them carefully.

Growing Choko from Seed

You can sprout choko seeds in water or simply leave on the kitchen table.
Choko Seed Sprout
Choko Seed Sprouted

Choko Seed Growing in Water
Choko Seed Growing in Water

In conclusion, growing a choko plant from choko fruit and choko seed is a straightforward, rewarding and fulfilling experience for any gardener. By following these steps and providing the right care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious choko fruits from your own thriving choko vine. So, grab a ripe choko fruit, start the sprouting process, and grow your own choko vine from a choko fruit.