Heavy metal not only contaminating our natural ecosystem but also enters in food chain. Heavy metal contamination occurs because of unmanaged exploitation of natural resources. Disposal of industrial effluent and municipal sewage emerges as core issue for environmental safety. Plant needs specific metals for their physiological and metabolic requirement. But their excess in soil can cause toxicity. Besides these, some heavy metal in high concentration are accumulated in plants tissues. These heavy metals compete with essential nutrients in rhizosphere. They interfere in plant metabolism and cell functioning and ultimately affect plant growth. Recently phytoremediation emerges as tools for the removal of toxic metals from soils and waters. Phytoremediation is a cost effective and eco-friendly technology. In this review we have discussed the toxic effect of essential and nonessential heavy metals on plant growth and detoxification mechanism that enable them to survive in excess metal concentration.