Answer: Most heather are cold tolerant, but they do require excellent drainage, so I wonder if the soil got too saturated during the winter months. If the leaves and stems are dead, it isn't likely the plants will come back. Sudden death usually indicates a root rot problem. If you're not ready to give up hope yet, prune the stems back until you find green tissue. If the plants are alive they'll develop new stems and leaves in a few weeks. If not, they should be replaced.
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