Thank you for your inquiry. According to Arizona State University, the Russian sage is a great accent plant for those high desert landscapes in Arizona and New Mexico. It is well adapted for mid-elevation landscapes in the Arizona cities and towns such as Prescott, Payson, Sierra Vista, and Page. It will grow in Flagstaff too, but might be damaged by winter cold. It is not recommended for the low desert of Phoenix as that heat is too extreme for it to grow.
CUT back, but not to the ground.
It does seem to be deer resistant. I live in a deeply rural area, and neither the deer nor my livestock have ever bothered my Russian sage. As I recall, North Georgia gets fairly cold in the winter and has a lot more interesting lay of the land than the flat land south of it. I imagine you can plant anytime that's not winter, given that these plants are already a good size. I planted mine in broiling heat, but I'm apparently more bothered by it more than they. I'd have them in the ground before fall so that they are fully established by winter, but other than that, I cannot imagine Russian sage having any problems in North Georgia. They are a wonderful plant that adapt to any number of soils and weather conditions.
3 femm c
If you have a mature bush it will have flowers throughout the season. I also have lavender that I trim back in the offseason to bring back the blossoms, but I haven't even done that with sage.
Sage should have a general tendency to repel ticks. However, if you have ticks in your area, they will seek out tall plants in order to drop onto passing animals. Having a barrier of mulch--particularly cedar mulch--between wilderness areas and your lawn and yard can discourage ticks from getting into your yard in the first place. Plants like lemongrass and sage are less likely to harbor ticks because they repel many insects.