Have a hard time keeping houseplants alive? Going away on vacation and wanting your plants to thrive while you're away? Here's a simple way to give them a fighting chance and recycle newspaper at the same time: Give your thirsty houseplant a good drink of water, then place a layer of newspaper on top of the soil. Keep watering until the newspaper is completely saturated. This does two things: It help seal in the moisture in the soil so the roots stay moist, and over time, the newspaper will break down into a beneficial mulch for the houseplant. If you have arid-loving plants like succulents and cacti, all you have to do is remove buds and flowers and place them in a sunny spot. Removing the flowers means the plant needs less water to stay alive. In fact, they can go months without watering if you pinch the buds off.