Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires (NWs) are receiving significant industrial and academic attention for a variety of novel electronic, optoelectronic and MEMS device applications due to their unusual combination of physical properties, including being optically transparent, semiconducting and piezoelectric. Hydrothermal growth is possible at significantly lower temperatures (and hence lower thermal budgets) compared with other NW growth methods, such as chemical vapour deposition. In this context, the hydrothermal growth of ZnO NWs on seeded substrates immersed in equimolar zinc nitrate/HMTA aqueous solution was investigated. NWs were grown on polished silicon (001) substrates, and the solution concentrations, temperatures and growth times were varied. Importantly, the NW diameter was found to depend only on concentration during hydrothermal growth for times up to 4 hours. The average diameter was 14 nm in 0.005 M solution and increased up to a maximum 150 nm at 0.07 M, when the NWs formed a continuous polycrystalline film. Concentration and temperature were all found to affect the axial growth rate of NWs in the  direction. The growth rate was constant up to 4 hours (200 nm hr-1) for constant conditions (81 oC, 0.025 M). The growth rate was found to increase approximately linearly with concentration at a rate of 7840 nm M-1 hr-1 up to 0.06 M (81 oC solution). The growth rate also increased linearly with temperature at a rate of 4.9 nm hr-1 K-1 (0.025 M solution). This indicates that growth takes place close to the equilibrium point, found by linear regression to be 36 oC for 0.025 M solution.