Cytokinins were discovered in the 1950s by their ability to promote cell division in cultured plant cells. Recently, there have been significant breakthroughs in our understanding of the biosynthesis, metabolism, perception and signal transduction of this phytohormone. These advances, coupled with physiological and other approaches, have enabled remarkable progress to be made in our understanding of the interactions between cytokinin function and environmental inputs. In this review, we first highlight the most recent advances in our understanding of cytokinin biosynthesis, metabolism and signalling. We then discuss how various environmental signals interact with these pathways to modulate plant growth, development and physiology.