Phenolics are aromatic benzene ring compounds with one or more hydroxyl groups produced by plants mainly for protection against stress. The functions of phenolic compounds in plant physiology and interactions with biotic and abiotic environments are difficult to overestimate. Phenolics play important roles in plant development, particularly in lignin and pigment biosynthesis. They also provide structural integrity and scaffolding support to plants. Importantly, phenolic phytoalexins, secreted by wounded or otherwise perturbed plants, repel or kill many microorganisms, and some pathogens can counteract or nullify these defences or even subvert them to their own advantage. In this review, we discuss the roles of phenolics in the interactions of plants with Agrobacterium and Rhizobium.