Meiosis is a fundamental process in all sexual organisms that ensures fertility and genome stability and creates genetic diversity. For each of these outcomes, the exclusive formation of crossovers between homologous chromosomes is needed. This is more difficult to achieve in polyploid species which have more than 2 sets of chromosomes able to recombine. In this review, we describe how meiosis and meiotic recombination 'deviate' in polyploid plants compared to diploids, and give an overview of current knowledge on how they are regulated. See also the sister article focusing on animals by Stenberg and Saura in this themed issue.