As sessile organisms, plants require mechanisms to sense and respond to changes in their environment, including both biotic and abiotic factors. One of the most common plant adaptations to environmental changes is differential regulation of growth, which results in growth either away from adverse conditions or towards more favorable conditions. As cell walls shape plant growth, this differential growth response must be accompanied by alterations to the plant cell wall. Here, we review the impact of four abiotic factors (osmotic conditions, ionic stress, light, and temperature) on the synthesis of cellulose, an important component of the plant cell wall. Understanding how different abiotic factors influence cellulose production and addressing key questions that remain in this field can provide crucial information to cope with the need for increased crop production under the mounting pressures of a growing world population and global climate change.