Plant embryogenesis creates a seedling with a basic body plan. Post-embryonically the seedling elaborates with a lifelong ability to develop new tissues and organs. As a result asymmetric cell divisions serve essential roles during embryonic and postembryonic development to generate cell diversity. This review highlights selective cases of asymmetric division in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and describes the current knowledge on fate determinants and mechanisms involved. Common themes that emerge are: 1. role of the plant hormone auxin and its polar transport machinery; 2. a MAP kinase signaling cascade and; 3. asymmetric segregating transcription factors that are involved in several asymmetric cell divisions.