In this account, a one-step green hydrothermal method for zirconium-loaded reduced graphene oxide (RGO-Zr) adsorbent was developed in pure water. It is based on the formation of initially strong-coupling RGO-Zr nanocomposites followed by in situ reduction of GO to RGO during the hydrothermal treatment. The phosphate adsorption performance of the as-prepared nanocomposites was investigated in aqueous environment under various conditions. The characterization results of RGO-Zr nanocomposites showed that ZrO2 was successfully integrated onto the RGO sheets in amorphous. The data from equilibrium phosphate adsorption on RGO-Zr revealed that the adsorption kinetics followed a pseudo-second-order kinetic model, where the adsorption isotherm fitted the Langmuir isotherm model with a maximum adsorption capacity of 27.71 mg P/g at pH 5 and 298 K. The improved phosphate adsorption on RGO-Zr was caused by the dispersion of ZrO2 on the RGO surface. Furthermore, the phosphate adsorption was found insensitive to the increase in pH while it was sensitive to the increase in temperature. The coexisting anions of SO42-, F-, Cl-, NO3- and CO32- affected the phosphate adsorption in a different way. Results suggest that the present RGO-Zr adsorbent has the potential for controlling phosphorus pollution in water.