Graphene reportedly exerts positive effects on plant root growth and development, although the corresponding molecular response mechanism remains to be elucidated. Maize seeds were randomly divided into a control and experimental group, and the roots of Zea mays L. seedlings were watered with different concentrations (0-100 mg/L) of graphene to explore the effects and molecular mechanism of graphene on the growth and development of Z. mays L. Upon evaluating root growth indices, 50 mg/L graphene remarkably increased total root length, root volume, and the number of root tips and forks of maize seedlings compared to those of the control group. We observed that the contents of nitrogen and potassium in rhizosphere soil increased following the 50 mg/L graphene treatment. Thereafter, we compared the transcriptome changes in Z. mays roots in response to the 50 mg/L graphene treatment. Transcriptional factor regulation, plant hormone signal transduction, nitrogen and potassium metabolism, as well as secondary metabolism in maize roots subjected to graphene treatment, exhibited significantly upregulated expression, all of which could be related to mechanisms underlying the response to graphene. Based on qPCR validations, we proposed several candidate genes that might have been affected with the graphene treatment of maize roots. The transcriptional profiles presented here provide a foundation for deciphering the mechanism underlying graphene and maize root interaction.