By the way, welcome to ATP, Rod! Also, I'm just talking from general knowledge of drainage. I'm not familiar with tropical or or indoor "trees". Any advice from the KNOWLEDGEABLE people above should be trusted ten times more than my suggestions. Hopefully, I may say something that resonates with things you've observed or give you an idea for what to do to put into practice some ideas from other people.
>> It's quite lose and wobbly so maybe a bit of Growmore would be a good idea?
I don't fully understand. But first, when leaves are still green, think twice before fertilizing.
Indoors, think three times before increasing fertilizer.
If you're having soil or moisture trouble, and the plant may be stressed already, think four times before fertilizing.
If you don't know what's wrong, and there is even a tiny chance that excess fertilizer and salts may NOT have been flushing out of the soil with each watering, as water comes out the bottom of the pot and is removed from the saucer so slats don't build up in the soil, don't fertilize again until you CAN flush the pot successfully.
If you see any crusty white stuff anywhere, including on the soil mix surface or in a ring-around-the-saucer, think about hard water and/or salt buildup. Flush if you can safely, and check pH if you can.
If the root ball is loose and wobbly in the pot, the only thing I can think is "totally, 110% root-bound, and soil mix shrinking as it dries out". Am I hearing that right?
In that case it would be very dry and "light" compared to a water-logged pot. If so, you might be able to see the root ball by just leaning the pot over and (usually a bad idea) tugging very gently on the stem. Better if you can push the soil ball from below.
If there is a gap between the wall of the pot and the soilless mix, watering from above will just run off the ball and out of the pot without moistening it.
If so, the classic solution is to water the pot by lowering it into a sink full of water or a big bucket. If the root ball is immersed, it will eventually soak up some water in the room between the roots. the plant might still have trouble absorbing the water through dried-out-dead root hairs, but at least there will be some water to be absorbed.
Let's say the pot and plant are too big to easily move to the sink or tub. I have an idea that might let you water-by-immersion right where the plant is, or MIGHT be a good way to totally soak your living room carpet. I've never tired this, but I DID almost work out how to bottom water trays of seedlings in a tub, if you don't mind calling the plumber to unclog the drain every time you bottom-water.
1 Get a really tough big plastic bag like a contractors' bag with 4 mil plastic. Tip the pot and work the lip of the bag under the pot, bunching it up under the pot, then tipping the other way and pulling the bag up until the pot and plant sit in the bottom of the bag.
2. Try to bind up the bag by wrapping and then tying something stiff around it, like carpet fragments. (That's just to keep the bag from flowing away from the pot when you add water.
3. Pour water into the bag as deep as you can without it falling apart and flooding the living room. Try to get it almost as deep as the soilless mix.
4. Let the root ball soak in the water for 3-5 minutes, to totally soak the mix.
5. ************ FIRST, ********* figure out a way to get the excess water back out of the bag, before trying this cock-a-maimie scheme.
6. Get the excess water out and remove the bag. heft the pot to tell how much water it absorbed compared to the dry state. Now you know how heavy it is when water logged.
7. Watch the saucer for an hour or more so you catch it before it overflows, as some water drains back out FREELY.
8. Heft the pot within an hour or two of being water-logged. Now you know how heavy it is when saturated with "perched" water, but the largest pores have drained out into the saucer and been replaced with air.
9. If curious, now place to pot on folded towels and wait many hours. Replace the towel when soaked. repeat until the towel stops absorbing noticeable amounts of water.
10. Now heft the pot and see what the weight is when moist but NOT soaked and with minimal "perched" water.