Plant development is characterized by a profound phenotypic plasticity that often involves redefining of the developmental fate and polarity of cells within differentiated tissues. The plant hormone auxin and its directional intercellular transport play a major role in these processes because they provide positional information and link cell polarity with tissue patterning. This plant-specific mechanism of transport-dependent auxin gradients depends on subcellular dynamics of auxin transport components, in particular on endocytic recycling and polar targeting. Recent insights into these cellular processes in plants have revealed important parallels to yeast and animal systems, including clathrin-dependent endocytosis, retromer function, and transcytosis, but have also emphasized unique features of plant cells such as diversity of polar targeting pathways; integration of environmental signals into subcellular trafficking; and the link between endocytosis, cell polarity, and cell fate specification. We review these advances and focus on the translation of the subcellular dynamics to the regulation of whole-plant development.