Rose petals can be removed from the stem when at their peak freshness to be used in decoration, potpourri making, weddings, celebrations and the like. They can also be removed from the stem when wilted to prevent them from falling into the soil below while keeping the ovary on the plant to form a rose hip. Removing rose petals in either instance is easy to do and can be accomplished with just your hands and a gentle but firm grip.
Pull individual petals off the flower stem by holding the rose in one hand just under the sepals and sliding your thumb and index finger of the other hand down between the petals to near where the petal connects, pulling and plucking quickly and firmly to free the petal.
Remove petals from rose flowers in full bloom by making a claw-shaped cage with your fingers over the top of the rose with one hand and holding the base of the flower with the other hand. Wrap your fingers over all of the petals, gathering them up toward the center until your fingertips come to rest around the base of the petals just above the sepals. Close your hand around the petals to grasp them and pull up to free them for the flower base.
Clean wilted or dead petals off the rose plants while leaving the ovary intact by grasping the flower head with your palm and closing your fingers around the petals to gently scoop them up.