The formation of the heart involves diversification of lineages which differentiate into distinct cardiac cell types or contribute to different regions such as the four cardiac chambers. The heart is the first organ to form in the embryo. However, in parallel with the growth of the organism, before or after birth, the heart has to adapt its size to maintain pumping efficiency. The adult heart has only a mild regeneration potential; thus, strategies to repair the heart after injury are based on the mobilisation of resident cardiac stem cells or the transplantation of external sources of stem cells. We discuss current knowledge on these aspects and raise questions for future research.