Paperwhite narcissus present an ironic dilemma for the gardener.
How to you get something that isn't supposed to bloom, to bloom, while not growing very much and not producing any fragrance?
Paperwhites, which do not require a chilling period and bloom 3 to 6 weeks after they are potted, have a tendency to flop over, making it necessary to stake them.
Horticulture magazine offers this tip to keep the stems from growing too tall: once the stem is an inch or two tall, replace the water solution with one part liquor and seven parts water.
You can use rubbing alcohol, but you will need to dilute it at least twice as much. Wine or beer don't work. Too much sugar.
This method, tested by Cornell University, will mean your stems will be about a third shorter. And a neutral smelling alcohol, like vodka, is recommended over whiskey.
Of course, you can also force your paperwhites in glass cylinders and the sides will provide support.