Anyone growing chayote?

baci(z10Ca)August 17, 2005

I planted some spiny chayote last fall, & over wintered it. It is doing fine & is healthy, but still no blooms. Can trimming bad leaves decrease the blooms? I have read it is supposed to bloom August or September, but I think I should be seeing something about now. Is anyone elseÂs blooming?

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PoPazza(Sunset 16 CA)

I've had a chayote growing in a corner of my garden for a decade. It dies back every winter and then returns with a vengeance in spring. I don't recall seeing flowers on it, and so, of course, it has never produced fruit. I was recently told it needs a "bride", another plant in the vicinity, to stimulate production. One of these days, I'll give it a significant other. If you've only one plant, perhaps that's the problem. I hope someone else here has a scientific explanation why even flowers aren't forming.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 1:47PM
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lolly_gardener(9)

I had tried growing chayote plant this year. A plant kind of grew about 12", stayed there and died back. I don't know if I will see it re-emerge next year....

I read somewhere that if you cover the plant with black cloth, so that you can fool the plant into thinking that the length of the days are shortenning, it will produce the flowers...

Good luck.
Lolly_gardener

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 3:25PM
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baci(z10Ca)

Thanks for the tips, guys. I planted mine in the fall last year, because it was the only time I could get this variety. I kept it alive over the winter by covering it with plastic. It is now about 12 ft & healthy. I knew I needed more than one, so I planted about 4. Maybe it is too soon, or maybe they are all male.
Thanks for the tip on the black covering, Lolly gardener. I had the same problem as you did last year. My mistake last year was trying to grow it in pots, however  they definitely do not like pots. I could not bring it back.
I did not know the chayote could be perennial  that is good information. They do have a pretty leaf & are great for a vertical garden.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:48PM
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PoPazza(Sunset 16 CA)

Well, I went back to Old Faithful, the Sunset Garden book, and it says to plant two or more chayote to assure pollination. But it says nothing about flowers, so, I, too, will try Lolly gardener's trick. Thank you both.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:01PM
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dvdgzmn(Sunset 17 SF CA)

Same here. No blooms. In the deep south, chayote (aka mirleton) is pretty much foolproof and does not go dormant in the winter. I think CA, at least the norther part, is just not the right place for it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:21PM
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cjoynson(SoCal LA 9b-10)

Um, about that perennial thing - I had great luck with the one chayote I grew in Silverlake (Los Angeles). Of course, it had friends up and down the block. Produced enormous quantities of fruit (ok, squash), and vine. I had it on a small overhead arbor. The leaves didn't go brown in winter, but in spring the next year's growth would overlay the existing, eventually blocking it off from sun. Being young and ignorant I left it alone for about three years, at which time it broke the arbor with the weight of the bio-mass, and was an horrendous, spider-filled, sticky mess to prune back to a reasonable size of live vine.
You might want to keep on it -

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:54PM
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LizzieA(z9 CA Sunset 17)

Got one chayote next door. Last year it climbed over three fences (two of them mine,) two japanese maples (belonging to next door but hanging over my back yard,) and a very tall brugmansia (mine.) It has very small flowers, white/yellow if I remember, nothing spectacular, but they all turn into fruit. I had chayotes falling on my head all fall. They flower and fruit really late, don't expect to harvest until October/November or even later.

They only have one plant that I know of, it's in the ground and they completely and utterly ignore it. It died back during the winter and spring but it's growing back this year in the same manner and I'm sure I'll be collecting its harvest again this fall.

Not very helpful I'm afraid but they will grow around here and grow to excess. I just think it's a little early to be expecting flowers; they're a fall/winter fruiting vine.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 1:15AM
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baci(z10Ca)

Well, the blistering heat finally cooled down a bit, & I am getting my first flowers. For a squash, they are not much. It is a little dark, but here is a picture:

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 5:00PM
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baci(z10Ca)

Well, my chayote fruited, and I have another question. When it it ripe? I am growing a spiny variety, so it is dimpled. The ones I have seen in the store are yellow and bruised, and probably too ripe. I picked one the other day, and although it had more moisture than the store varieties, I could tell it was still hard and green.
Here is a pic. I noticed the other day one of them was turning a bit yellow.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 5:46AM
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abetsocal(z10/SoCal/z22)

Chayote fruits stay firm and green and some weigh a pound or more. Pics shown above are ready for picking. Dont let the fruits mature or they get fibrous and gritty! Usually you'll notice new sprouts sticking out of the tip of the fruit. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 12:27PM
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baci(z10Ca)

Thanks, AbetSoCal, I thought I was picking them too green. It tasted OK when I cooked it, though. I guess I can re-plant the mature ones. I know if they get too yellow they are mature and taste bad. If the sprout is coming out, does that mean it is too mature?
I just found out I can eat these raw  I have been cooking them & eating them with eggs, so raw sounds healthier. I guess I am off to harvest and cook a bunch of chayote.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:33AM
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edgatron

I am currently growing a smooth Chayote; the fruit grows big and is dark green in color. I got the plant from an Aunt; she had had about 15 Chayotes sprouting in her kitchen. I buried it half way and this is its second year growing, it is probably 25 ft long in one direction and about 30 ft long in another. The vine flowers a couple of times starting in early summer, but the flowers die before developing in to fruit, probably due to the heat. There are two different flowers on the vine and they grow next to each other. One of the flowers consists in a bundle of small yellow-green flowers, perhaps the male flower. The other flower lies on top of a miniature chayote, like an umbrella, it is really something to look at. The vine is in full bloom now and the Chayotes are starting to grow. I love my plant and IÂm looking forward to enjoy the fruit.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 11:46PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Chayote also grows well enough in northern California, where it is a tender perennial in the San Francisco Bay Area where it doesn't typically freeze. I remember a neighbor's plant in Burlingame, on the mid peninsula that was huge and always had tons of fruit each fall. It did look pretty bedraggled after a typical northern California winter, but seldom died back to the ground, just the leaves got burnt in light frosts.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 4:25PM
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shipwrek

Hi I'm new to the forum. I an amateur chef/culinary student & someone brought a bunch of chayote in for us to try. Loved them!
I have 2 that I want to plant. I have heard that they will sprout when they get really ripe. Does anyone know how long that will take? They are extremely ripe now & starting to attract flies. Can I plant them before they sprout?
Does it matter if one has been in the fridge or will they sprout in the fridge?
Thanks in advance for your help.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 6:31PM
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stanofh

My cousins mom at 80 had a huge Chayote vine in Oakland.Being a business family she sold fruits to the local markets! Same story with her Avocado's
Plant more than one Chayote and pray you don't get gophers...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 2:28PM
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dad542(8a)

If anyone want to grow this giant lady (Chayote Squash). You might want to check out this link. It is a really indept article found in Mother Earth publications.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1980-11-01/Grow-Chayote.aspx

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 7:15PM
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dimoul

I had some rot on me last year in the garden after I had sprouted them, so this year, I am trying something new. I used root hormone on some fresh ones from the store and put them on the window sill. Just put some of the root hormone powder in the "crack." I think they opened more quickly than last year's.

They started to sprout, but stopped, with no roots forming. I put more root hormone and misted them a bit and nothing happened, so I figured the little bumpy spot, on the seed that pokes out of the fruit, just below where the shoot comes out, must be where the roots want to start. I also figured that spot wants a dark place grow roots.

So I laid the whole fruit on its side in a pot of dirt and barely covered the bumpy "root spot" with dry dirt and let the green sprout stay above the dirt. I misted the dirt around the "root spot" every day for several days. Now, there are lots of thin white roots and the fruit does not wobble anymore. Several sprouted from the "root spot" and seem to head downwards, others are shallow and long. I put some miracle gro on it yesterday and put a few ounces of water on the dirt, trying to keep the fruit from getting too wet (so it won't rot).

I put a different sprouted fruit, planted the same way, directly in the garden. Hopefully one will survive and turn into the crazy vine everyone talks about.

I keep the pot outside when it's sunny and warm and bring it in at night to keep critters from messing with it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 6:59PM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

is anny one growing chayotes in cooler zones.my vines died back two years ago and never came back.can you grow them in zone 8.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 8:40PM
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gabrant_bellsouth_net

Chayote is both male and female so you don't need to plant more than one. You can plant them before they sprout and it's best to pick them when small. The smaller they are the more flavorful and tender they are. One suggestion was to pick them when they are only 2 inches long.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:31AM
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wally_1936(8b)

I found for here in Texas you go to Fiesta Grocery stores to find the Chayote spiny variety a lot cheaper than a nursery. Always pick one with a root already started. I Never had any luck with the smooth skin variety.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 9:31AM
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sharkhind_theredgars_com

i,m live in sabah malaysia. i like chayote and my family plant it in a small garden. chayote easy grow in tropical area.

Here is a link that might be useful: chayote, mirliton, vegetable pear

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 6:08AM
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stanofh

Since that last post I can add...your odds increase in the bay area hugely if you start fruits in gallon containers. Plant rightside up,cover to where only the bud is getting light.
To do it like in soucal..just stick fruits from the market in ground,seems not a good method here..most will rot,slugs and insects will eat any smallest new growth.
Start in pots,wait until top growth looks luxurious and roots fill the pot.
After that-bait,bait,bait, at first planting.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:54PM
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