Keep or Toss Paperwhites?
“...I gave my mother paperwhite narcissus for her birthday and she heard she should throw them away after they bloom, does that sound right to you?” – Mary
Mary, there’s nothing quite as fragrant, or suggestive of spring, as a little stash of blooming paperwhite narcissus, what a nice gift. Depending on how big the bulbs are, you might be able to save the bulbs by planting them outside after they bloom. It may take a few years before they build up energy back in the bulbs to re-bloom so don't get discouraged.
Since most paperwhite narcissus are promoted as gifts mid-winter, the ground in Missouri is usually too hard to even dig to plant them. In that case, best to compost them. The bulbs will be exhausted from blooming and unless you are willing to baby them until spring, chances are they won't make it.
If you want to try to keep them going, keep them watered and in a sunny window while they produce green leaves. Fertilize them with 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended fertilizer dosage. The leaves will store energy in the bulb so that when you plant them in the ground after the danger of frost is over, they may come back.
I think it's worth a try but there are no guarantees. Good luck!