In this paper, we introduce a simple and effective method to prepare ZnO nanorods using aqueous solutions. The morphology and structure properties of ZnO nanorods were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and photoluminescence (PL). The SEM results indicated that the diameter of ZnO nanoroads was about 100 nm. The XRD pattern showed that the ZnO nanorods had high-purity wuruzite structure. The PL spectrum revealed that ZnO nanorods had a strong visible emission at 423 nm. The field emission (FE) properties of ZnO nanorods were also studied. The FE results showed that the turn-on field and threshold field were 24V/μm and 39V/μm, respectively.