Deciduous larch

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Dominicus Johannes Bergsma

The Deciduous larch it is one of the conifers that best resists cold and frost; not in vain, thanks to this it can live on the tree line in the Alps, where temperatures can drop to -50ºC. But living in such cold areas has a drawback: it has not adapted to the heat, and therefore, it has a hard time in warm temperate regions.

For this reason, this is a tree only for those who live in areas where frosts are the protagonists every winter and where summers are very mild. If you are lucky, or If you are curious to know what this conifer is like and the care it requires, continue with us .

Origin and characteristics

The cones of the Larix decidua are rounded, with scales

Image – Flickr / Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors

It is a deciduous conifer (loses leaves in autumn-winter) whose scientific name is Deciduous larch. It is popularly known as European larch, larch or larch, and it is a very slow growing plant native to the mountains of Central Europe, in the Alps and the Carpathians, at altitudes between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level.

It reaches a height of between 25 and 45 meters, with a more or less straight trunk up to 1m in diameter. (It rarely reaches 2m, with 55m high). During the juvenile stage, the crown is conical but as it ages it becomes pyramidal. The main branches are erect, but the lateral ones are usually pendulous.

Its leaves are needles up to 3,5cm long, greenish but turning yellow in autumn before falling. The cones are 2-6cm long, erect, conical-ovoid, and inside they contain seeds that they release when they turn brown.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you take care of it as follows:


The leaves of the Larix decidua are deciduous

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Hans Gasperl

The Deciduous larch is a plant that must be abroadat a distance of at least ten meters from floors, walls, etc.


It grows in fertile soils, slightly acidic, and with very good drainage.. In the event that this is not the case we have, we will make a planting hole of at least 1m x 1m, we will cover it with shading mesh to prevent the roots from coming into contact with the garden soil, and we will fill it with substrate to acidic plants (we can get it here!) mixed with 20-30% of perlite.

It is not a plant to have in a pot, but during its young years it can be grown in it with substrate for acid plants mixed with perlite in equal parts, or with 70% akadama (for sale here!) mixed with 30% kiryuzuna.


The frequency of irrigation will vary greatly throughout the year, but as it is a plant that does not tolerate waterlogging, the best we can do is check the humidity before giving it water, at least until we have acquired the necessary experience to know when to do it.

To do this, we can choose to:

  • Using a digital moisture meter: today, it is one of the most comfortable and practical tools to know if a terrain is wet or not. It is enough to introduce it into the ground so that it instantly tells us how humid it is. Of course, to be truly reliable, it must be reinserted further or closer to the plant.
  • Introduce a thin wooden stick: this could be said to be an analog moisture meter, the one for life 🙂. If we see that it comes out with a lot of adherent soil, we will not water since it will still be very wet.
  • Weigh the pot once watered and again after a few days: wet soil always weighs more than dry soil, so this difference in weight is a good guide to know when to water.

Anyway, in case of doubt we will wait a couple of days before giving it water, just in case. It is easier to recover a plant that is thirsty than one that has suffered from overwatering.


The Larix decidua is very decorative

Image – Wikimedia / Mmparedes

It is important to pay throughout the growing seasonthat is, from early spring to late summer, with ecological fertilizersLike guano, herbivorous animal manure, compost,… We will spread a layer of about 5-10cm all around the trunk, we will mix it a little with the earth and we will water once a month.


The Deciduous larch multiplies by seeds in autumn (It needs to be cold before germinating). The way to proceed is as follows:

  1. First, a tupperware is filled with previously moistened vermiculite.
  2. Then, the seeds are placed and copper or sulfur is sprinkled to prevent fungus.
  3. They are then covered with a layer of vermiculite.
  4. The next step is to cover the tupperware and place it in the fridge, in the section for sausages, milk, etc.
  5. Once a week and for three months, we will take it out and remove the lid for a while so that the air is renewed.
  6. After that time, we will sow the seeds in forest seedling trays or pots with substrate for acidic plants.

If all goes well, they will germinate throughout the spring.


No problems with the cold. Withstands up to -50ºC, but does not tolerate excessive heat of more than 30ºC. In fact, the ideal is to keep it between a maximum of 25ºC and a minimum of -20ºC.

What uses does it have?


Larix decidua looks lovely in autumn

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Jerome Good

The Deciduous larch It is used mainly as an ornamental garden plant. Looks great as an isolated specimen or in alignments.


Being strong and durable, it is used for outdoor installations and also for making wine barrels.

Did you know this tree? What do you think?

Deciduous larch

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