I introduced my mother aloe plant (who was just a wee tot) to Iowa around 7 years ago from the most southern tip of Texas. Since then the mother plant has grown to about 4 1/2 feet in diameter and living happily in a huge ceramic pot. I have enough of her children to give a plant to everyone in our township, so, use that to assure you that they are not very hard to grow.
However forgiving aloe may be, they are also known to be very fickle. Over the years I have found that the Aloe plant loves its space and doesn't like any foreign object touching it. If the tips touch any object like another plant's pot or the wall, etc. the tips will turn brown. Check to see if the tips are touching anything besides another aloe plant.
Aloe plants also do not like too much sunshine... mine tend to bleach out easily if left in the direct, hot sun all the time. As far as temps, in the past I have always moved all of my plants outside after the last frost and there they stay until the danger of a hard freeze. I do cover them if there is a danger of frost. So a charming, drafty older home will not hurt your plant... unless you live in the arctic :)
Finally, as far as care... the less water the happier your plant will be. I have one plant literally burst from getting too much rain water for over a weeks length of time. I know, bad mom. I watch them closely now.
When I need to I have found that I can use my aloe plants to treat burns from cooking, sunburns, skin care, and I have even taken it internally one time to fight an intestinal infection. All with tremendous success; they are very healing plants. Always thank your plant for the blessing and remove the lover leaf if you need it for medicinal purposes. I usually take off the whole leaf at the main stem, but careful not to cut into the stem.
I am by no means an expert on aloe, but I have come to learn and understand my plants. They are very easy to care for and usually the less care the better. Mine enjoy a little attention every now and then, however. I hope yours does well. If it does not improve, it may not have been a well plant to start with. Set it next to a window away from anything else and periodically keep an eye on it. Otherwise, relax you will end up becoming a great father to your plant :) If anything does happen to it and you are in Iowa let me know I have a truck-load of plants you can choose from
Edited by: JULIAJEAN2 at: 4/15/2012 (17:06)
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