In the present investigation, nanoscale zinc oxide particulates (ZnO-nanoparticulates) were prepared using a modified oxalate decomposition method. Prepared ZnO-nanoparticulates (mean size = 25 nm) were characterized using techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and zeta potential analyzer. Different concentrations (50, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000 ppm) of ZnO-nanoparticulates were examined to reveal their effects on maize crop on overall growth and translocation of zinc along with bulk ZnSO4 and control. Highest germination percentage (80%) and seedling vigor index (1923.20) were observed at 1500 ppm of ZnO-nanoparticulates. The yield was 42% more compared to control and 15% higher compared to 2000 ppm of ZnSO4. Higher accumulation of zinc (35.96 ppm) in grains was recorded with application of 100 ppm followed by 400 ppm (31.05 ppm) of ZnO-nanoparticulates. These results indicate that ZnO-nanoparticulates have significant effects on growth, yield, and zinc content of maize grains, which is an important feature in terms of human health. © 2016 American Chemical Society.