Orientated cell divisions are an essential part of development in many multicellular organisms. In particular, in plants, morphogenesis is determined solely by differential growth, which depends on the orientation of cell division planes. But how are these planes correctly lined up? On p. 767, J. Peter Etchells and Simon Turner report that signalling through the receptor-like kinase PXY and its peptide ligand CLE41 regulates the rate and orientation of cell division in the vascular meristem of Arabidopsis, which forms both the xylem and the phloem (the plant's water and sugar conducting tissues). The researchers show that PXY is expressed within dividing meristematic cells, whereas CLE41 localises to the adjacent phloem cells. Importantly, alterations in the CLE41 expression pattern, but not overexpression of CLE41 in the phloem, disrupt cell division orientation and ordered vascular development. Given that localised signalling from adjacent cells also defines cell division planes in animal systems, the researchers suggest that this might be a general mechanism for regulating orientated cell division during development.