Many plants can make an entire new body from a fragment of adult tissue. Cultured root explants of Arabidopsis, for example, can produce new shoot meristems, the source of the plant's above-ground organs, when supplied with the hormones auxin and cytokinin in the correct ratio. But how do these hormones control meristem self-organization within regenerating tissue? Gordon and co-workers have used live imaging of fluorescent versions of proteins involved in embryonic meristem patterning and also of reporters for hormone responses to investigate this question (see p. 3539). Their analysis suggests that shoot meristem progenitor cells are induced within specific hormone-response domains in the explant to form a cell mass that is then patterned to form a new shoot meristem. Furthermore, the homeodomain transcription factor WUSCHEL is required for specific steps during this process, as it is during embryonic meristem initiation. The researchers propose, therefore, that de novo meristem induction represents an accessible system in which to study hormone-induced patterning in Arabidopsis.