Transplanting Fuschias?

A friend just gave me a mature in-ground fuschia that she'd dug up. I don't know the exact species, but probably a hybrid or f. magellanica.
The root ball is about 12x18" (30x45 cm) and 6" (15 cm) deep, and there are about 40 stems that have been trimmed back to 15" (37 cm).
I'd been planning to plant this fairly deep, with lots of mulch, but a neighbor says that it will die and I should keep it in the garage over winter (watering a little once a month), then plant after last frost.
What's the best approach? I'm in the Seattle WA USA area (USDA zone 8; Sunset zone 5).
What should I do with all those stems?
Should I divide the root ball?
Thanks for your help...
Pete
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F. magellanica is garden-hardy in the Puget Sound area, needing full sun or partial sun, not flowering well in shade in this zone. Autumn is an okay time of the year to transplant one into its permanent location. It will not be entirely dormant in winter, will not require heavy mulching, but will begin repairing its root system starting immediately.
If it is not F. magellanica it probably wouldn't be garden-hardy through winters no matter when planted; it'd be a container plant that could be taken to protection each winter or treated as annuals. But F. magellanica "hardy fuchsia" really is a hardy fuchsia.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Pete wrote:

I have one of those and it is just fine in the ground all year long. Mine is in full sun and gets bigger every year.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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On Wed, 5 Oct 2005 07:25:02 -0700, Pete wrote:

Thanks for the tips... I'll start diggin'...
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