The Old Farmer’s Almanac says: “According to James Underwood Crockett, the expression ‘green thumb’ comes from the fact that algae growing on the outside of earthenware pots will stain a person’s thumb (and fingers) if he or she handles enough pots. Hence, a person who is always working with flowerpots has a green thumb.
Another theory is that it originated during the reign of King Edward I of England. He was fond of green peas and kept half a dozen serfs shelling them during the season. The serf who had the greenest thumb won a prize.”