Fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) are known to inhabit T cell-rich areas of lymphoid organs, where they function to facilitate interactions between T cells and dendritic cells. However, in vivo manipulation of FRCs has been limited by a dearth of genetic tools that target this lineage. Here, using a mouse model to conditionally ablate FRCs, we demonstrated their indispensable role in antiviral T cell responses. Unexpectedly, loss of FRCs also attenuated humoral immunity due to impaired B cell viability and follicular organization. Follicle-resident FRCs established a favorable niche for B lymphocytes via production of the cytokine BAFF. Thus, our study indicates that adaptive immunity requires an intact FRC network and identifies a subset of FRCs that control B cell homeostasis and follicle identity.