|Heavy metals are natural non-biodegradable constituents of the Earth’s crust that accumulate and persist indefinitely in the ecosystem as a result of human activities. Since the industrial revolution, the concentration of cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury and zinc, amongst others, have increasingly contaminated soil and water resources, leading to significant yield losses in plants. These issues have become an important concern of scientific interest. Understanding the molecular and physiological responses of plants to heavy metal stress is critical in order to maximize their productivity. Recent research has extended our view of how plant hormones can regulate and integrate growth responses to various environmental cues in order to sustain life. In the present review we discuss current knowledge about the role of the plant growth hormones abscisic acid, auxin, brassinosteroid and ethylene in signaling pathways, defense mechanisms and alleviation of heavy metal toxicity.