ZnO nanorods have been studied extensively due to facile synthesis and useful optoelectronic properties for applications in nanoscale devices. In a common two-step procedure, an ethanolic Zn2+ precursor solution is used to deposit ZnO seed crystals on a substrate, which is then immersed in an aqueous Zn2+ precursor solution to grow the nanorods. Here, a forced hydrolysis technique was employed based on additions of water and heat to the seed precursor solution before depositing the seeds on commercial fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO)/glass substrates. ZnO nanorods were then grown from these seeds by chemical bath deposition. Analyses showed that the forced hydrolysis resulted in an increase in seed crystallite size and a decrease in the number of seeds deposited. With increasing seed size, the number density of nanorods decreased, while the length and diameter of each rod increased. These findings offer a simple method for exerting control over the number density of ZnO nanorods that is compatible with the rough FTO surface, unlike other methods that require smoother substrates.