A friend has just given me an Aloe Vera with pale brown tips. Different sources have lead me to multiple non-conclusive possible causes; mainly: pests, etiolation, wrong type of soil or overwatering...
"The Guide for House Plants", for example, warns that brown stains and seeing insects are a sign of pest or disease (I saw a small insect that looked like a black aphid but haven't seen it again)
On the other hand, the post "Why are my aloe leaves turning white and brown?" here in Stackexchange, points to etiolation as the cause of this, mainly because the center steam is somewhat pale. Yet, in my case, the pale part is mostly covered by the soil.
Moreover, the soil of my plant looks dark and peat-like rather than "desert-like" (which would drain faster), and it also looks pretty soaked. My friend told me she watered it yesterday and that she did it about each 3 weeks (when the soil looked totally dry), pouring about half a glass of water into it. It doesn't sound enough for a 20cm radius pot (near 8 inches) but I could introduce my finger almost through the bottom and it is all wet. So it might have been overwatered... (?)
I'm not able to reach a conclusion and obviously the treatment for each of the causes would be different... Is there any way to nail down the cause?