You have to look very closely to see it. There is more of it than what you see in the photo. There is white stuff where the leaf joins the plant. Is this typical of the plant? Or is this some type of fungus. It is almost powder like. Also I had the same stuff on a similar plant but larger.
I just asked Metrosideros (Dave) over on Cubits.com. He has done the Tropical Plant Dictionary. He said it was mealybugs. After looking them up, I definitely agree with him. He said to spray with 1 ounce shampoo in a spray bottle. I had 3 plants that had some. Not a whole lot but enough for me to think they are gross!
i have the same problem with a similar plant, but i think i have white bugs in the soil, does the white stuff look like pellets? I've been told to wash the leaves with alcohol and rinse them in the shower
Meally bug is a pest that sucks the juices out of the plant. At first they stay hidden where the leaf joins the stem, and some can hide at the junction of stem and soil.
Rubbing alcohol can kill them. If there are just a few a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol will do the job, and not much of a problem for the plant. If the plant is more heavily infested it might be easier to spray the plant. I sure would not want rubbing alcohol sprayed in the room to land on the furniture, carpet or walls, and if you put that much on the plant it should not stay on the plant. So the best way to treat a heavy infestation is to move the plant to the shower. Spray it with rubbing alcohol, then shower off the plant to remove the rubbing alcohol.
You can do the same treatment with soap, shampoo or similar product, diluted as noted in the post by venice.
Repeat: A few bugs can be spot treated. But a major infestation means treating the whole plant, and a spray bottle is faster than a Q-tip.
In mild weather this can be done outside in the shade. But so far all the posts here are from the northern hemisphere, and it is too cold outside right now.