Weigelas leafing only at the base
I planted five sickly, spindly, crooked weigelas last summer after I rescued them from the clearance section for about $2 each. I had never planted a weigela in my life, and figured I had nothing to lose (except about $2/ea). They all had leaves on them and two of them even bloomed one flower a piece late in the summer. Then in the fall, after all the leaves fell off, I cut a few inches off the ends of the branches (for no good reason, though...it just felt like the right thing to do at the time). Today, every single weigela looks dead, except for the leaves that are strangely emerging from the very base of the plant where it meets the ground. No buds have appeared on the branches.
Should I assume that the branches are dead (possibly a result of my poorly-planned "pruning" in the fall) and cut them off to let the new growth at the ground take flight? Or should I give the branches more time?