The European Larch (Larix Decidua) Care Guide

The European Larch, otherwise known as the Larix Decidua or Common Larch, Venice Turpentine, Larix europaea, is a rather well-known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this tree will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this European Larch Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The fundamental caring guidelines for every European Larch can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The European Larch needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Larix Decidua in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the European Larch in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your European Larch will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the European Larch belongs to the Pineaceae family, the genus Larix and the species Decidua, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Larix Decidua (LAR-iks de-SID-u-a).

As with other Larix’s, the European Larch is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The European Larch is a plant native to Central and southern Europe.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your European Larch is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Larix Decidua will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 6 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the European Larch is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.


But, how big does the European Larch actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Larix Decidua can grow up to 80′ – 100′ (24m – 30m) in 80′ – 100′ (24m – 30m) and 70′ – 80′ (21m – 24m) in 70′ – 80′ (21m – 24m). 

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful pyramidal shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.


In terms of watering, the European Larch is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Larix Decidua needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your European Larch in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the European Larch since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the European Larch prefers to have soil with good drainage properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the European Larch requires soil with loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the European Larch requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions

Most experts agree that this tree will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Larix Decidua in full and direct sun (more than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being a deciduous plant, the European Larch will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


The leaves from the European Larch have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

You can expect the leaves from your Larix Decidua to be around (< 1 inch) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The European Larch is well known for its tolerance to animals like deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Larix Decidua will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new European Larch? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Larix Decidua owners agree that this tree will look great in most cottage and rustic gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of coastal garden styles. 

In particular, the European Larch’s best use for landscaping within your garden is as very wet areas, or a windbreak.

Companion Plants

European Larch’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Picea orientalis will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy European Larch in your garden or home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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