HDA-capped ZnO nanoparticles were prepared by solvothermal method using solvents of different polarities. A number of parameters were kept constant such as temperature, pressure, time, and pH while solvents were varied, that is, water, ethanol, and acetone. The TEM was used for the structural properties and morphologies such as spheres, mixture of rods, and spheres and stars were obtained in ethanol, acetone, and water, respectively, in a given reaction time of 15 minutes. Both ethanol and acetone gave rods with high aspect ratio primarily because of the lengths of the rods. Water and ethanol have the hydroxyl groups which interact with nanoparticles from nucleation, growth, and termination giving rise to nonspherical shapes. The hydroxyl group promotes growth in a nonuniform way resulting in stars and rods. The optical features were typical of ZnO nanoparticles with excitonic peaks in the range 368 to 374 nm from their absorption spectra. The XRD patterns of the particles gave the most stable form of ZnO which is the hexagonal phase, with high degree of crystallinity and with the 101 plane predominant in all solvents.