Black Spots/Shriveling Buds on Peonies
What you're describing is a fairly common fungal disease called Botrytis blight. It thrives in wet conditions, and the spores can spread when they are splattered around by rainfall or overhead watering. A fungicide isn't generally necessary. All you need to do is snip off and remove all infected plant parts. Then do a thorough cleanup in fall and spring, removing all plant debris from the ground. The spores won't have a place to hang around and wait to attack the next season's growth.
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