This review on plant uptake of elements has been prepared to demonstrate how plants take up different elements. The work discusses the nutrient elements, as well as the general uptake and translocation in plants, both via roots and by foliar absorption. Knowledge of the uptake by the various elements within the periodic system is then reviewed. The work also discusses transfer factors (TF) as well as difficulties using TF to understand the uptake by plants. The review also focuses on species differences. Knowledge necessary to understand and calculate plant influence on radionuclide recirculation in the environment is discussed, in which the plant uptake of a specific nuclide and the fate of that nuclide in the plant must be understood. Plants themselves determine the uptake, the soil/sediment determines the availability of the nuclides and the nuclides themselves can interact with each other, which also influences the uptake. Consequently, it is not possible to predict the nuclide uptake in plants by only analysing the nuclide concentration of the soil/substrate.