Green in garden fresh on table. Welcome to Asiangarden2table. chayote is also called vegetable pear. It is a native Mexican plant and is a member of the squash family. The fruit, stems and young leaves as well as the tuberized portions of the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. The well-cooked fruit is soft so it can also be made into children’s food. To start growing Chayote, you need to get a Chayote fruit. This is also its seed. Try to pick a matured one which has bigger chance to sprout. Put the fruit in a plastic bag and loosely wrap it up Germination may take weeks depending on maturity of the seed and environment temperature. When you see sprout developed, plant the fruit in a pot. Half cover up the fruit with loose and moist potting mix. Because the fruit contains enough water and nutrients for young sprout, you should not water too much. Or the fruit will get rotten. In 2~3 weeks, Chayote seedling will stretch up and grow its leaves. . It is also growing roots in the soil. So you can start to water it like other squash seedlings. Depending on temperature, it could take 1~2 months for Chayote seedling to grow into size like this. If outdoor temperature is higher than 40 degree, Chayote is ready to transplant into garden. In the first 3 months after transplanting, because of low weather, my Chayote grew very slowly. At the end of February, the temperature increased and Chayote speeded up its growth. The plant had grown multiple shoots and spread out on trellis, it is good time to prune. Chayote usually grows its fruits on tertiary vines. Pruning your plant in a right way will help Chayote to produce more fruits, maintain a nice shape and prevent the plant overgrowing. Here is a diagram of how I prune my Chayote. Keep four main vines. If you have less space or multiple plants, then just keep 2~3 vines for each plant. Cut the shoots off all the vines, including shoots grow from the root. This will encourage more shoots grow from the sides. After new shoots get about 1 ~2 feet long, Keep 2~3 leaves and cut off the shoots again. Always completely remove the shoots from the root. Keep on doing this. I did not have time to prune my Chayote earlier. Look how fast it was growing. 10 days later it tripled its size. I also noticed that it was growing some baby fruits. 2 weeks later, it was completely out of control. It quickly expanded its territory on the trellis, invaded other vegetables’ space and even climbed over the fence. There are countless baby fruits developing from the vines. Look at this one. It had at least one baby fruit at every two leaves. If we continue to let the vines grow crazy, most of the baby fruits will not be able to grow. It is painful to remove these vivid vines but believe me, it is the right thing to do. Here is some more information of growing Chayote The best temperature for growing Chayote is 68~77 degree. Chayote plant will wither if soil temperature is lower than 40 degree. Temperature high than 95 degree will inhibit its growth. A Chayote plant will not start fruit until it is older than 4 months. So plan your growing according to your local weather. Chayote likes slow but rich fertilizer. So add a lot of organic fertilizer in the soil when you transplant Chayote seedling. Care your Chayote like other squash plant. We do not have freezing weather in our area so I transplanted my Chayote in December and the plant grew safely through the whole winter. After pruning, the plant looked very thin. But don’t worry it will grow back quickly. 10 days after pruning, new shoots had grown back, and I had to prune the vines again. At the same time I harvested my first two Chayote fruits! The big one weighed almost a pound! And young Chayote shoots are great green for stir-fry. From this time on, I have to pick the shoots every week because they grow more and faster. Now, it is three weeks after my first pruning, Chayote has grown more than 20 fruits. Here is one of the corners. There are 6 fruits here. It is amazing in such short time Chayote already produce so many fruits and young shoots. Oh wait! This is just the beginning! I am expecting my Chayote produce more than a hundred fruits this year. Here is a quick summary of my Chayote’s growth by now. 2 and half months to grow seedling, Three months to grow into a medium size and ready to prune. Grow crazy at the next month and start to fruit. Thank you for watching. I will continue to update my Chayote’s status through summer, fall and winter and show you how to care the plant during this time. If you like my channel, please subscribe and come back for more.