Japanese Larch

Larix kaempferi

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Larix (LAR-iks) (Info)
Species: kaempferi (KAYMP-fer-ee) (Info)
Synonym:Larix leptolepis




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lisle, Illinois

Ferrysburg, Michigan

Duluth, Minnesota

Maryville, Missouri

North Platte, Nebraska

Portland, Oregon

Aspers, Pennsylvania

Blairsville, Pennsylvania

Media, Pennsylvania

Marlinton, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 12, 2016, Timberplot from Blairsville, PA wrote:

The Japanese Larch has established well on abandoned and reclaimed coal mining lands in Western and Southwestern PA. The yellow, golden fall color contrasts well with other deciduous trees. I planted 400 Japanese Larch on my farm in the late 1980's. I had chosen this conifer over the native White Pine due to the susceptibility of the White Pine to the White Pine Weevil which destroys the terminal leader. The Larch grow several feet / year and the lower branches "self " prune in a woodlot setting. A nice deciduous conifer, with minimal trimming, can grow into a tall, narrow form.


On Dec 23, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Japanese Larch is a handsome deciduous conifer, not very different from the European species that is more commonly planted in the Midwestern and Eastern USA. Both develop a good golden-bronze autumn color before the needles fall. There are about 40 needles on each short spur on the twig. I notice these larch as being mostly planted in affluent neighborhoods or in parks. Most cities and bigger towns will have some planted somewhere in the municipality. The foliage of the Japanese species is at least somewhat bluish and its mature bark is different, often considered as prettier than the European species. The cones are 1 to 1.5" long and the tips of the cone scales are recurved or rolled back. Some big nurseries offer this Japanese species here and there.


On Dec 14, 2007, WaterCan2 from Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Showy in the spring but tends to become unruly towards late summer.
Will not tolerate pruning out of season. I found that if I tolerate it's unruliness and prune only when proper it rewards with a lovely spring display year after year. Loves the sun and needs to dry out slightly between waterings. I also found it can be sensitive to wiring if not well acclimated. Becomes bare in winter after a 'mustard yellow' coloration before it's needles drop in fall.


On Jan 31, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Excellent bonsai specimen. Bark is a lovely rust color and peels beautifully. Branches arch slightly downward. Fantastic form.


On Jan 31, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Nice tree for bonsai. Does not tolerate standing water, but likes moist soil. Seed can be gathered from cones which ripen in late autumn. Yes, it really is a deciduous conifer.