Effects of varying preseed magnetic treatments on growth, chlorophyll pigments, photosynthesis, water relation attributes, fluorescence and levels of osmoprotectants in maize plants were tested under normal and drought stress conditions. Seeds of two maize cultivars were treated with different (T0 [0 mT], T1 [100 mT for 5 min], T2 [100 mT for 10 min], T3 [150 mT for 5 min] and T4 [150 mT for 10 min]) electromagnetic treatments. Drought stress considerably suppressed growth, chlorophyll a and b pigments, leaf water potential, photosynthetic rate (A), stomatal conductance (gs) and substomatal CO2 concentration (Ci), while it increased leaf glycinebetaine and proline accumulation in both maize cultivars. However, pretreated seeds with different magnetic treatments significantly alleviated the drought-induced adverse effects on growth by improving chlorophyll a, A, E, gs, Ci and photochemical quenching and nonphotochemical quenching, while it had no significant effect on other attributes. However, different magnetic treatments negatively affected the gs and Ci particularly in cv. Agaiti-2002 under drought stress conditions. Of all magnetic treatments, 100 and 150 mT for 10 min were most effective in alleviating the drought-induced adverse effects. Overall, preseed electromagnetic treatments could be used to minimize the drought-induced adverse effects on different crop plants.