The essential minerals for plants are nitrates, potassium, phosphates and magnesium. These are needed to make proteins (and other compounds) to keep the plant healthy and growing correctly.
Plants absorb essential minerals through the root hair cells as ions in dissolved water. They do this via a process called active transport. This is when a substance is absorbed against the concentration gradient. This is the opposite to diffusion. This process require energy from respiration.
Although the soil contains minerals naturally, farmers use fertilisers to ensure that the plants get essential minerals. This…