Plant tetrapyrrole metabolism is located in two different organelles and distributes end products into the whole cell. A complex regulatory network is involved to prevent metabolic imbalance and inefficient allocation of intermediates as well as to correlate the metabolic activities with organelle development. This review presents new findings about the control of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis and addresses the question of which regulatory principles are involved in controlling the expression of the participating enzymes and the metabolic flow in the entire pathway. It is suggested that functional organelles are required for nuclear gene expression and that metabolic signals participate in a signalling cascade transferring information from plastids to the nucleus. Recent reports about plastid-localised control mechanisms for plant tetrapyrrole metabolism are summarised and compared with results obtained in experiments on nucleus-plastid communication.