Monocarpic plants have a single reproductive cycle in their lives, where life span is determined by the coordinated arrest of all meristems, or global proliferative arrest (GPA). The molecular bases for GPA and the signaling mechanisms involved are poorly understood, other than systemic cues from developing seeds of unknown nature. Here we uncover a genetic pathway regulating GPA in Arabidopsis that responds to age-dependent factors and acts in parallel to seed-derived signals. We show that FRUITFULL (FUL), a MADS-box gene involved in flowering and fruit development, has a key role in promoting meristem arrest, as GPA is delayed and fruit production is increased in ful mutants. FUL directly and negatively regulates APETALA2 expression in the shoot apical meristem and maintains the temporal expression of WUSCHEL which is an essential factor for meristem maintenance.